Tag Archives: women’s soccer

Women’s Soccer: Dons Break Out of Slump, Impress in Last Two Home Games

The Dons looked like a re-energized team in their last two home games of the year, tying Loyola Marymount 1-1 and defeating Pepperdine 2-0. USF finally broke out of its long slump; at the start of the weekend, the Dons had not won a game since defeating Kansas on Sept. 15. Reversing this trend, San Francisco (6-8-4, 1-4-2 WCC) found a way to secure a win and a tie in front of their home crowd before the season ended.

On Sunday, USF celebrated Senior Day and honored all of the seniors in their last home game of the season against Loyola Marymount (3-15-1, 0-7-1). The match was intense and evenly-played throughout. The Dons snatched an early lead thanks to freshman midfielder Amanda Whittle, who scored the lone USF goal. She delivered with 16:34 left in the first half off of a cross from junior forward Mackenzie Krieser, and her second goal of the season put the Dons up 1-0.

USF kept their lead intact well into the late stages of the game, only to lose it with five minutes left in regulation. LMU sophomore midfielder Jocelyn Blankenship was awarded a penalty kick after being fouled near the Dons’ goal, and her shot went past sophomore goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel to tie the game. Schiffel was going for her second straight shutout, but the penalty kick ruined those hopes and sent the game into overtime. Both teams kept fighting hard through both ten-minute overtime periods, but neither team was able to walk away with the win, and the match ended in a 1-1 tie.

On Friday, the Dons broke a streak of nine straight games without a win, finally tasting victory by persevering against a tough Pepperdine squad. The teams were tied after the first half, but the Dons got on the board twice after that. In the 52nd minute, Krieser received the ball after a corner kick went off of Pepperdine freshman goaltender Hannah Seabert’s hands, and blasted the ball into the goal to give the Dons a 1-0 advantage. It was Krieser’s second goal of the year, and Whittle was credited with the assist.

“I think our pressure was a really big factor in this game,” sophomore forward Alex Alugas said. “On offense, we just kept pressing the defense, and they always felt pressure back there…I think [Kreiser’s] goal was just a cross-in, and we just kept pressing. It was a great goal.”

The Dons were still up 1-0 late in the match thanks to sharp goaltending from Schiffel, and in the 74th minute, Alugas padded the lead by sending a high shot past Seabert to give the Dons the breathing room they needed to secure the victory.

“[The shot] went a little higher than I expected, and it went over the goalie,” Alugas said. “It was a little lucky, but I’ll take it.”

Along with Krieser and Alugas, Schiffel was an important contributor to the Dons’ success over the weekend. Her six saves against Pepperdine (9-7-2, 4-4-0) were crucial in preserving the 2-0 shutout.

“She just knows what she’s doing,” Alugas said of Schiffel. “It’s really great to have her back there because I know I have confidence in her to get the shutout. I’m really glad that she finally got the shutout. I’m really proud of her.”

USF will finish the regular season on the road, heading to Gonzaga on Nov. 7 and Portland on Nov. 9 to conclude a season that has been filled with ups and downs. Although they are not near the top of the West Coast Conference rankings, the Dons can still end the season on a high note after gaining momentum from their performances against Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount.

Madalyn Schiffel saved five Santa Clara shot attempts, but also allowed nine goals as the Dons suffered a lopsided defeat at the hands of the Broncos. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

Women’s Soccer: Dons’ Defense Falters, Gives Up 9 Goals to No. 11 Santa Clara

Sunday, Oct. 27 was an unfortunate day for USF fans as the Dons lost 9-0 to the 11th-ranked Santa Clara Broncos at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Dons (5-8-3, 0-4-1 WCC) were hoping for their first win in West Coast Conference play, but had their work cut out for them playing against the Broncos (11-3-1, 5-0-0), who had won six straight games previous to Sunday’s match.

Santa Clara scored quickly, drilling a ball into the net in the 11th minute of the game. USF was not fazed by the early goal however, and kept their heads up, trying to stay on the offensive side of the ball. After senior midfielder Tyler Campagna’s shot was stopped in the 20th minute of the game, the Dons had opportunities to score on two corner kicks but were unable to get it past Santa Clara’s stellar goal line defense. In total, USF had six corner kicks, but only took three shots on Santa Clara’s goal.

By the 38th minute of the game, the Broncos had put up three goals to the Dons’ zero. Santa Clara would continue to be on the prowl offensively, and concluded the first half with a 4-0 lead. Sophomore goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel did her best to stop the offensive showing of the Broncos, earning herself four first-half saves.

Santa Clara picked up where they had left off in the second half, blowing the game wide open and scoring five more goals on the Dons. Throughout the game, Schiffel faced 14 shots on goal, the most that a USF opponent has attempted all season.

It was a rough showing for the Dons, but they hope to gain their first WCC win when they return to USF for their final home games of the season. USF will be hosting Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount in their final two matches at Negoesco Stadium. The game against Pepperdine will be broadcasted live on TheW.TV on Friday, Nov. 1 at 5:00 p.m. The Dons will be looking to come back with a vengeance after their loss to the Santa Clara, and will need to improve their defense against Pepperdine Waves, who are currently ranked fourth in the WCC.

A victory over the Waves would go a long way towards wrapping up the season on a strong note. The Dons are currently placed ninth in the WCC standings, with only Loyola Marymount behind them. The Dons are scheduled to play Loyola Marymount on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 12:00 p.m.

A. Alugas

Women’s Soccer: Dons Play Well But Can’t Find Victory in WCC Opener at St. Mary’s

That’s the way it goes sometimes. In a game that opened up West Coast Conference (WCC) play for the Dons, USF was unable to walk away with a win, falling 1-0 to the St. Mary’s Gaels in Moraga, Calif. on Oct. 5.

Starting off heavily pressured by the Gaels, the Dons (5-5-2, 0-1-0 WCC) were unable to gather a sense of rhythm, making it difficult for the tandem of junior forward Mackenzie Krieser and freshman forward Lexie Kreuger to establish any sort of connection together to attack the net. The brief moment of assault in the first half came during the 34th minute when Krieser found Krueger with just feet separating her and the goal, but she was unable to get the shot off as defenders swirled around her and cleared the ball.

The aggressive nature of the Gaels (5-7-0, 1-0-0 WCC) paid off in the 37th minute when St. Mary’s sophomore Jaime Turrentine was able to intercept a pass and dump it off to freshman Mary Fraser, who, with a couple of touches, blasted a 30-yard laser that ended up in the back of the net, putting up the Gaels up 1-0 in the first half.

With Fraser’s first goal of her collegiate career, St. Mary’s was put in the driver’s seat for the rest of the match. Maintaining the aggressive style of play that the put them in the lead, the Gaels had several chances to extend their advantage, but the defensive play of USF’s sophomore goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel kept the Dons in contention for the entire match. She helped put the team in a position where they could trust their defense enough to play less conservatively later on in the second half.

The Dons kept knocking on the door as junior midfielder Abigail Phillip’s cross in the 77th minute almost connected with Krieser, but the shot went wide and the Gaels were able to ward off the Dons’ 14 shots on goals and pick up the win in the process.

“They scored a lucky goal in the first half and we dominated the rest of the game. That’s soccer,” Head Coach Jim Millinder said to USFdons.com. “That’s probably the best 2×45 [two 45-minutes halves] we’ve played all season but that’s just the way the game worked out sometimes.”

It was a frustrating loss that came despite the exhibition of Krieser’s playmaking brilliance, but Millinder is confident things will turn around for the talented Dons team.

“Soccer’s a funny game,” he said to USFdons.com. “They kids got to keep working hard and do the right things. They’re doing the right things. At some point things will change. At some point that little round thing will roll over the line.”

The Dons won’t have to wait long for that ball to run over the line, as they will fight for their first WCC win at home tonight against No. 22 BYU at Negeosco Stadium at 7 p.m.

Madalyn Schiffel made a total of 10 saves in USF’s two games over the weekend,
while allowing only one goal and increasing her shutout total to five.
(Photo: Dons Athletics)

Women’s Soccer: Krueger Scores Third Goal of Season; Dons Tie Against Pilots and Ducks

Defense is a necessary staple for any team with hopes of success, but in the end, goals win games.

The Dons were given a dose of this reality over the past weekend, as they played well but finished their two-game trip to the Beaver State with a pair of double overtime ties against the University of Portland Pilots and the University of Oregon Ducks.

On Sunday, the Dons found themselves in an evenly matched battle that resulted in a 0-0 tie against Portland at Hillsboro Stadium in Portland, Oregon.

Although USF was presented with multiple chances to score off of corner kicks in both halves, they were unable to capitalize, continuing an unsettling trend of scoring troubles. San Francisco has scored just two goals in their last four games, and if their defense had collapsed at any moment during that time span, their situation would likely be much worse.

Stopping their opponents has become a focal point of USF’s game plan, as they have employed suffocating defense rather than letting their offensive struggles affect their play on the other side of the ball. Portland took 11 shots on Sunday compared to seven for USF, which was led by junior forward Mackenzie Krieser’s 3 shot attempts, but Dons sophomore goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel recorded six crucial saves that kept the Pilots from getting on the board.

The Dons, who now stand at 5-2-2, have held five teams scoreless so far this season, which leads the WCC and is a testament to Schiffel’s excellence in goal as well as the solid overall team defense.

On Friday, freshman forward Lexie Krueger scored a goal for the Dons, her third of the season, but USF surrendered a late goal to the University of Oregon Ducks and came away with a 1-1 tie at Pape Field in Eugene, Oregon.

USF was in position to pull off an impressive win on the road after Krueger, making her first start of the season, got the ball past Oregon goalie Abby Steele to put the Dons up 1-0. However, despite keeping the Ducks at bay for much of the second half, the Dons fell short in the 77th minute, when Oregon’s Reilley Moore capitalized on a corner kick and sent a well-placed shot into the upper right corner of the goal.

After Oregon’s equalizer, both teams clamped down defensively and refused to let their opponent score for the remainder of regulation, as well as the two ensuing overtime periods. The Dons searched desperately for a chance to score the game-winning goal, but unfortunately were only able to manage one shot during the two overtimes. The Ducks didn’t fare much better, taking just a two shots in that same time span.

The Dons’ trademark defensive mindset was on full display early on, as USF forced Oregon into an offensive struggle in a scoreless first half. The Ducks nearly went ahead 1-0 in the 24th minute, but Schiffel made a difficult save, one of four on the evening, to preserve the tie.

For both teams, it was a night where scoring opportunities were scarce. Both USF and Oregon had only five shots on goal and 10 shots total throughout the match.

The Dons’ will next take the field on Thursday, Sept. 26 at Long Beach State University, as they look to wrap up their lengthy five-game road trip with a victory before returning home to face University of California, Berkeley on Monday, Sept. 30.

Junior midfielder Jaciara Mello heads the ball toward the goal against Harvard. Off a penalty kick, Mello scored the Dons their only goal of the game. (Photo: Nicholas Welsh)

Women’s Soccer: Strong Dons Defense Contributes to Two Big Wins

The Dons rebounded from a loss in their third game of the season to defeat both the Harvard University Crimson and the University of California, Davis Aggies in their home tournament at Negoesco Stadium last weekend. USF’s record now stands at 4-1-0, their only loss being a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Detroit Mercy on Sept. 1.

The Dons won the Sunday, Sept. 6 match against Harvard 1-0 thanks to their excellent defense. Harvard controlled the ball for much of the game, outshooting the Dons 16-5, but the Crimson only managed three shots on goal. Offensively, San Francisco was struggling to control the pace of the game. What they lacked in offense, they made up for with their defense.

In the second half the Dons were able to capitalize when junior forward Mackenzie Krieser was tripped in the penalty box while dribbling towards the goal. The Dons were awarded a penalty kick, and junior midfielder Jaciara Mello drilled the ball into the left side of the net. The Dons were up a single goal, but Harvard stayed aggressive and continued to attack the Don’s defense as they had been doing much of the game. However, USF was able to prevent Harvard from scoring for the rest of the game, and prevailed, taking the victory on their home field in the tournament they hosted.

In the opening game of the tournament for USF on Friday evening against UC Davis, sophomore forward Rochelle Weerackoon scored a goal from the right side of the penalty box in the 72nd minute that put USF ahead 1-0, a lead they would keep until through the final minute. From then on, the Dons’ defense prevented several desperate attempts by the Aggies to tie the game in what little time remained. Although it is still early in the season, USF is already focused on earning a spot in the NCAA tournament.

“Every game matters to us,” Weerackoon said. “We want to go to the NCAA. We just need to do whatever it takes to win, so when the ball came in and I saw the opportunity, I got on it.”

So far this season, the Dons have already developed a knack for limiting the teams they have played to one goal or less. In the five games that they have played this season, they have only allowed a total of two goals from their opponents. USF will look to continue this streak of defensive prowess when they go up against the University of Nebraska in Lawrence, Kansas on Friday, Sept. 13. The Dons face a lengthy five-game road trip and before returning home to face University of California, Berkeley on Sept. 30 at 7:00 P.M.

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Dons Grind Out Two Early Wins, Fall Short in Over Time to Detroit Mercy

Only three games into the season, the women’s soccer team has already put on a show for the crowds at Negoesco Stadium, as the Dons defeated both Nevada and San Jose State at home last week while falling just short to Detroit Mercy in overtime on Sunday. A dynamic combination of goal-scoring and defense has helped San Francisco to their 2-1-0 record to start the season. Freshman forward Lexie Krueger pioneered the offense by scoring in each of the first two games, and she produced the game-winning goal against San Jose State.

In the home opener against Nevada on Aug. 25, the Dons got on the board quickly by scoring two goals in the first half. Star forward junior Mackenzie Krieser scored the first goal of the entire season, on a header 21:47 into the first half. Junior defender Abigail Phillips got the lone assist on the goal. Just eight minutes later, Krueger notched an unassisted goal by scoring in the right side of the net off of a rebound.

“I noticed that the keeper didn’t have good control over the ball, and there was a bunch of us at the far (right) post, and I saw the ball, and I just kicked it in,” Krueger said.

The goals from Krieser and Krueger were all that the Dons needed to secure a victory.

“(Winning) starts us off in the right path, and it gives us more confidence to know what we’re supposed to do for the rest of the season, and we can learn upon this and keep building up from it,” Krueger said.

The following Friday the Dons faced San Jose State at Negoesco Stadium, and the group continued to build on its early momentum. San Francisco earned an early advantage over their opponent again, as freshman midfielder Amanda Whittle fired a shot into the San Jose State net only 14:22 into the first half. Krieser assisted the goal.

“I saw (Mackenzie) holding the line, and I wasn’t sure if she would get to (the ball) or not, but I just made the route anyways….. and it was perfect that I was wide, and she crossed to the back post, and I just poked my foot (in the box) and volleyed it in,” Whittle said.

Her goal gave the team a 1-0 lead that they kept all the way into the last minutes of the second half, but the Spartans did eventually respond with a goal of their own. Freshman midfielder Alexis Venegas of SJSU tied the game with a goal off of a throw-in with approximately 15 minutes left in regulation. It looked like the Dons were dominating the entire game, as they led in overall shots 18-6, but the match suddenly turned into an intense deadlock with not much time left. Overtime seemed like an inevitable fate, but USF defied the odds.

With about a minute remaining in regulation, the the Dons charged towards the San Jose State net on a fast break, and Krueger sped through the defense rapidly. She got past all of the San Jose State defenders and scored the game-winning goal unchallenged. It came with just 53 seconds left in the match, and USF easily held on to win the game. This was Krueger’s second goal in as many games.

The Dons will next face University of California, Davis at 7:00 P.M. at Negoesco Stadium on Friday, Sept. 6 as part of a tournament hosted by USF. They will also square off against Harvard University on Sept. 8 at 11 A.M.