By Jeremy Hoeck
What do double overtime losses feel like?
“It feels like a loss,” USD soccer head coach Mandy Green said simply after her team played Loyola University (Chicago) to a 1-1 tie in Friday’s (Aug. 23) season opener for both teams.
Especially to not come out on top, given how much soccer was played. The total? 110 minutes. The combined output? 30 shots, 7 on goal.
“That’s a lot of running,” sophomore midfielder Rebecca Sparkman said. “It definitely keeps you in shape.”
It didn’t however, result in a victory for the Coyotes (0-0-1), despite several chances.
USD got on the scoreboard in the 31st minute of the first half, when sophomore Teagen Eberle’s corner kick found Sparkman who punched the ball in.
For the next 38 minutes, the Coyotes held on to that lead. But a sluggish stretch in the second period allowed Loyola to score on a Tricia Stonebraker shot in the 79th minute.
The first 10-minute overtime period was scoreless, as was the second 10-minute period. USD, did however, save a potential Loyola goal with 2:07 left in the second overtime, when junior Colleen Reeves kicked away an open look for the visiting Ramblers.
“We came out with great focus, great intensity, but we didn’t connect on many passes,” Green said. “It was like we forgot we had another half to play.”
Adding that her team has a 3.5 grade point average, Green added, “I told them, ‘We didn’t play super smart.’”
Even a change in formation after the first period didn’t produce a goal for the Coyotes, who were out-shot10-3 in the second period. USD was then held without a shot in the two overtime periods.
“We had a lot of chances, but couldn’t put those shots away,” Sparkman said. “At least we’re getting more opportunities; creating more of them.”
Those chances were, at least, a sign of progression from last year, Sparkman added. USD boasts eight sophomores, 10 juniors and one senior (Jenny Teslow) from a team that was 2-13-3 last season.
“We’re definitely getting better,” Sparkman said. “The next step is putting them (shots) away.”
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