Every Weekend is Big for Women’s Soccer
By Will Conerly
The Quincy University Women’s Hawks soccer team is 3-1 in GLVC play.
The team has been playing better losing three of its first five games.
“I thought we played well Friday, but today we were at our best,” Head Coach Marc Hager said.
The Hawks are in the midst of a three-game win streak in which they have scored five goals and allowed one.
Two of those goals came Sept. 21 from Senior forward Abby Pulliam, who won GLVC offensive player of the week. Pulliam scored the game-winning goal in the 75th minute against Lewis one week ago. The last Hawk to earn this honor was Maddie Bauer last season, who also scored in the 3-1 victory over Lewis.
Quincy is currently tied at second in the GLVC standings with Rockhurst University, who beat Quincy 3-1 to open GLVC play. Indianapolis is first in the standings with a 3-0-1 record.
The Hawks will have a crack at the Greyhounds Sept. 28. Quincy first travels to Louisville, Kentucky to take on Bellarmine University, and Sept. 30 Quincy will play Indianapolis. As GLVC play begins, the reigning champions will have a bigger target on their back. The Hawks beat Bellarmine 1-0, and Indianapolis 2-0 last season in the midst of seven consecutive shutouts. This year they are facing an Indianapolis team who has scored 17 goals and has been shutout four times. The Greyhounds scored nine goals in their opener against Purdue Northwest and only eight goals since in as many games.
“Every weekend is big from here on out,” Hager said.
This season, the Hawks defense has many new faces. Junior captain Mo Rooney has moved from midfield to center back after the Hawks graduated three starting defenders from last season. Emilee Autry is the new freshman starting goalkeeper. Sydney Gorman and Allison Diekman are new starters in the back as well. Sept. 24, the defense was up to the test. Facing Truman State who had scored the second most goals in the GLVC, Quincy won 1-0 earning its fourth shutout of the season, which is tied for the second most in the GLVC.
The offensive charge this season has been lead by senior Cassidy Foley. Foley has five goals, three of which are game-winners.
“I think our back line did incredible. Between Em (Emilee Autry) and our back four. Syd (Sydney Gorman) played great today just stepping up and winning balls. I think that speaks volumes we need our back to be strong and is what they showed today,” Foley said.
First-year head coach Hager and the Hawks only have three home games remaining.
“Something we emphasized is to not drop points at home anymore. Based on the schedule we were given, there are not many home games left. We knew that going into this weekend with the opportunity to play at Jack MacKenzie Field in front of our own crowd during homecoming week especially we knew that it would be difficult to come here. Everything we got this weekend we deserved,” Hager said.
An important factor for the Hawks offense will be utilizing the width of the field in the attack with wide backs Gabby Orlando and Allison Diekman.
“When we get Gabby and Alli involved in the attack or even if subs come in it makes a huge difference. They get crosses off, they can beat people one on one and as you can see we get a lot of chances with our wing backs attacking,” Foley said.
Two of the past three victories for the Hawks have been decided by one goal. Those goals were penalty kicks against Missouri S&T (9-16) and Truman State (9-23) scored by Foley.
The goal against Truman was something a Hager team has never done before.
“I have coached against Truman seven times before today, and I have never had a team score a goal on them because they have always been the best defensive team in the conference,” Hager said.
Just 34 seconds into overtime, Mary Maloney drew a penalty in the box, forcing the penalty kick which Foley took.
Sophomore Mary Maloney won the PK for Quincy Sunday.
“I just felt like I needed to make that run, and so I went through and I got fouled in the box,” Maloney said. “I knew that Cass was going to bury it. I was already excited I have all faith in Cass all the time. Even though she hadn’t shot it yet I had a good feeling about it.”