Panthers finish regular season with 2-0 loss


On Thursday, October 27, the UNI Women’s soccer team traveled to Normal, Illinois to take on the Illinois State Redbirds. This was the game UNI was looking to grab some momentum from as they head into the conference tournament by stealing a win from the Redbirds home turf.

At the end of the contest, however, the Panthers would fall to the Redbirds with a final score of 2-0.

The match was once again a close, defensive game. Neither team scored until the second period, with 10 seconds left in the game. On the 80th minute, Illinois State’s Brianne Richards got the assist from Kelli Zickert to score her fifth goal of the season and put the Redbirds up 1-0.

Not even two minutes later, Zickert scored her fifth goal of the season to make the score 2-0. The Panthers  were unable to get their offense going in this game and would finish the game down 2-0.

Illinois State outshot UNI 29 to 7. Despite such a large difference, the Redbirds were only able to score two goals.

UNI’s goalie Maddie Lesjak finished the game with eight saves but also allowed those two goals. Morgan Teel led the team with three of those seven shots with Sarah Brandt coming in second at two.

UNI’s offensive woes continue. The team has only scored five goals total in their last six matchups, dating back to Oct. 2, while giving up a combined seven goals.

At the end of the regular season, Sarah Brandt emerged as the team’s most prolific offensive player. She led the team in goals (6), shots (42) and shots on goal (22).

Since taking over at goalie, sophomore Lesjak has been one of the best goalies in the conference. She finished with a record of 6-3-1, allowing 11 total goals, with five shutouts. The Panthers were just 2-4-1 before she took over for senior Whitney Blunt.

The Panthers finish the season 8-7-3, with a conference record of 2-2-2, which is good for third in the Missouri Valley.

Illinois State finished on top, with an undefeated 5-0-1 record in the conference, and a 12-5-2 record overall. Evansville came in second with an in-conference record of 3-2-1 and 4-11-2 overall.

Looking ahead to the conference tournament, the Panthers will play Loyola in the first round.

Loyola was placed sixth in the conference at 2-4 with an overall record of 4-11-2.

The Panthers would then fall to Loyola with a final score of 1-0. They finished with eight shots on goal, two saves and six corner kicks compared to the Ramblers zero.