By Tori Wittenbrock
Associate Sports Editor
DE PERE – St. Norbert College (SNC) women’s soccer (7-3-2 conf.) is avidly preparing for the postseason after wrapping up the season with a 9-7-3 overall record.
However, in a game against UW-Stevens Point on Sunday, Oct. 22, the Green Knights fell 3-1 in a mid-season, non-conference game.
The Green Knights started off the game strong, applying lots of pressure to the UW-Stevens Point back line.
An early cross led to a dummy by center forward Haley Leadingham, which then allowed for a shot just over the crossbar by Kait Schweitzer, two minutes into the match.
Moments later, a trip of midfielder Lizzie Guerin allowed SNC to take a free kick at the 40-yard line.
Leadingham then dished off a pass to Guerin for a shot, which went straight to the hands of the keeper, and was eventually shot out of bounds by Lilly Collins.
With 32 minutes remaining in the half, Leadingham was able to squeak out a shot that went just past the goal and posed some immediate danger for Stevens Point’s back line.
SNC continued to bring the heat, as defender Amelia Carlson executed a give and go scenario with Schweitzer before firing off a shot that sailed just over the crossbar.
Defender Melanie Simon brought a spark to the SNC offense as she carried the ball up the field on a drive up the middle, before eventually squandering possession in the attacking third of the field.
Despite SNC continuing to pose a threat in the attack, UW-Stevens Point’s Madison Culli found herself in a breakaway down the field, slotting the ball into the back of the net with 26 minutes to go in the half. With this play, Culli was able to take the 1-0 lead for her team, unassisted.
Meredith Posanski of SNC launched off a powerful left-footed shot from outside of the Stevens Point box with 20 mins to go in the first half, but was unable to find the back of the goal.
Both teams continued to circulate through possession with a few runs up the field throughout the remainder of the first half. Abby Thompson found herself continuously in a foot race, making runs to the corner flag up the line, but was unable to connect despite her many crosses.
The score remained 0-1 at halftime.
As SNC entered the second half, their fatigue began to show as they yielded another two goals to the Pointers.
Simon found a gap between herself and the backline, firing off a shot from 40 yards out that fell into the keeper’s hands, just four minutes into the half.
Leadingham sent a ball up the field to another forward running on for a chance at goal, but a battle in the corner sent the ball out of bounds for a corner kick.
A few plays later, Leadingham bent her run to the outside to receive a through ball for a shot across the face of the net. The shot rebounded off the hands of the keeper, but Guerin’s follow-up shot was not enough to find the Green Knights a goal.
Leadingham launched an aggressive header on goal from a corner kick with 37 minutes left in the match but the ball traveled just wide of the net.
Leadingham showed her tenacity with another cross from the byline, but with no runners int he box to receive it, the Green Knights remained in an 0-1 deficit.
Soon after, a volley from Culli’s cross into the near-post net from UW-Stevens Point’s Elena Rojas brought the score to 2-0 with 27 minutes to go.
The Pointers quickly followed up with another goal with just over 24 minutes left in the match as both teams scrambled in the box and Pointer Gabby Dunn was able to poke the ball just past the hands of SNC’s keeper for a 3-0 lead.
Despite the scoring deficit, Mackenzie Schneider maintained a strong back line for SNC throughout the match.
Thompson continued her offensive drives, eventually earning a corner kick for SNC with 15 minutes to go.
A goal from SNC eventually came off of a chaotic shot by Emily Harwood, which was followed up by Guerin in the 75th minute.
As the game came to a close, Muriel Reese found a shot that went to the Pointers’ keeper in the final minute of the match, rounding out the game with a 1-3 final score for the Green Knights.
SNC will go on to play Sunday, Oct. 29 in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Tournament after facing Edgewood College on Wednesday, Oct. 25, away.