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.