The UNI women’s soccer team played their first game in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) play on Saturday, Sept. 17, against the Valparaiso Beacons. UNI came into the game with a 3-3-1 record. They started out the season with three wins and a draw, but had lost three straight coming into this game and were looking for a bounce back win to start MVC play. Valparaiso came in 1-5-2, with a four-game losing streak of their own.
In the first half, both teams had three shots on goal, but could not convert, and so the game went into halftime scoreless. UNI had six shots total in the first half and four corner kicks. Jaylie Hickin had two of the shots on goal for the Panthers in the first half en route to her first multi-shot game, and Lauren Heinsch had the other.
In the second half, UNI got five shots and six of their ten corner kicks. However, they were only able to get one more shot on goal, shot by Heinsch. Valparaiso got three more shots on goal. The game looked like it was going to draw. However, in the 86th minute, Valparaiso’s Molly O’Rear scored on an assist by Allie Anderson to put the Beacons up 1-0. UNI could not get one in the goal, and so Valparaiso won.
UNI had 11 shots, including four shots on goal, while Valparaiso had 16 shots and six shots on goal. UNI led in corner kicks with 10 to Valparaiso’s four. UNI’s Caitlin Richards had five saves but allowed one goal, while Valparaiso had four saves. Heinsch led UNI in shots with four. Hicklin had three shots, and Caroline Hazen and Olivia Knoepfle each had two shots for the Panthers. O’Rear led Valparaiso with 4 shots. UNI had four players who played the entire 90 minutes. The players who played from start to finish were Richards, Siri Ott, Kennedy Reiken and Maddie Celarek.
UNI’s next game will be Thursday, Sept. 22, against the Illinois State Redbirds in Normal, Ill. They then face the Missouri State Bears at home on Sunday, Sept. 25.