Southern Indiana, UM-St. Louis fall to top-ranked Norse

Conference play successfully got underway for the women’s soccer team on Friday as the Lady Norse remained unbeaten by defeating Great Lakes Valley Conference rival Southern Indiana 3-1.

On a rainy night with poor playing conditions, the Norse used continued pressure up front to hang on for the victory. NKU out shot Southern Indiana 24-5, and had multiple opportunities to make the score much more lopsided.

Senior forward Stephanie Sandfoss got the scoring underway at the 33:11 mark with her fourth goal of the season. The play was set up with a fancy move by Aisling Callaghan who passed to Bessie Black, who centered the ball to Sandfoss.

The first half was dominated by the Norse, yet they only had one goal to show for it. They outshot Southern Indiana 9-1 in the first half with the defense, led by Junior defender Becky Schnieders, allowing very little opportunities.

Southern Indiana evened the score just nine minutes into the second half on a goal by freshman forward Brooklyn Gant. NKU goalkeeper Megan Zalla said this put a fire into the team.

“I think we were a little too overconfident, and we needed that to stay focused,” she said.

The team responded at the 65:33 mark as senior forward Kristin Noakes scored her third goal of the season. They reclaimed the lead and didn’t allow USI to get back into it.

Junior forward Aisling Callaghan officially put the game out of reach scoring her team-leading fifth goal with a little over two minutes left in the game.

Junior midfielder Carey Hebbeler set up Callaghan with a beautiful pass to score the goal.

Hebbeler agreed that the team, ranked No. 1 nationally heading into the game, didn’t play as well as they were capable of, especially at the start.

“We weren’t playing as a team in the beginning, but we dealt with it and we came back,” she said.

NKU entered the game coming off a huge win over the then No. 1 Christian Brothers University. Fortunately, the team remained focused enough to start conference play with a victory.

Head Coach Bob Sheehan was pleased with the win, but thought his team could have played better.

“Hopefully we’ll do a little better next time on our own home field,” he said.

The Norse improved to 7-0 on the season, and have five straight conference games coming up.

As for this game, Assistant Coach Terry Gruelle may have summed it up the best.

“Let’s just say we won and go on with it,” he said.