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NKU women take on UC in Riverboat Rivalry

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NKU forward Jessica Frey and the Norse will look to beat UC in the inaugural Riverboat Rivalry.

NKU forward Jessica Frey and the Norse will look to beat UC in the inaugural Riverboat Rivalry.

Kody Kahle

Kody Kahle

NKU forward Jessica Frey and the Norse will look to beat UC in the inaugural Riverboat Rivalry.

Christopher Decker, Sports Editor

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The Riverboat Rivalry sets sail for the first time tonight, when the NKU women’s soccer team heads to Nippert Stadium to face the 39th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats.

The Bearcats come into the game 1-0, after winning a double overtime with the University of Dayton, while NKU comes into the game 0-1 after losing to Appalachian State.

The Norse will look to rebound against the Bearcats, as well as make a statement in front of hometown fans and against one of the best teams in the country.

“We just want to come out with a lot of intensity and excitement,” Macy Hamblin said. “This is a chance for us to make a statement.”

While the two teams have never met in a regular season match, there is a lot of familiarity between the two teams. Many of the players have been on club teams together in the past. That won’t get in the way of how the teams will come out and play.

“We’ve played with them and against them since age eight,”Katelyn Newton said. “To play at this stage and this level and this environment is very special.”

Both coaches are also familiar with each other, competing for recruits and often see each scouting high school talent.

“Neil Stafford has done a great job with his program,” NKU head coach Bob Sheehan said, “We compete for recruits locally and we see each other out every weekend and through that we have built a great relationship.”   

This game gives the Norse an opportunity to showcase their skills and really springboard them into the rest of the regular season.

“Neil’s team plays hard and we play hard. For the fans who come out, they will be treated to two teams really going at it,” Sheehan said. “It’s going to be an intense and competitive environment. We are going to win from it one way or another and learn some things about ourselves.”

The Norse fell to Appalachian State 3-1 in the season opener. Macy Hamblin headed in the first goal of the game on an assist from Ally Perkins in the 34th minute. The Norse took the lead into halftime, but could not hold that lead.

The Mountaineers scored in the 52nd and 55th minute,  both off of rebounds, and took the lead 2-1. They then put the game away in the 82nd minute, when Erin Settle put the ball in the back of the net, making the score 3-1.

The Mountaineers pressured goalie Emily Lohmann all game long, taking 20 total shots against the sophomore. She has seven saves, but could not keep up with the ASU attack in the second half.   

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NKU women take on UC in Riverboat Rivalry