ROCHESTER, Mich. - In the Summit League regular season title deciding match on Sunday (October 28), Western Illinois (13-5-0 overall, 5-3-0 Summit League) fell to Oakland (9-5-3 overall, 6-2-0 Summit League) in a tight 1-0 contest. The Leathernecks outshot the Golden Grizzlies 20 to 13 in the competition.
The Golden Grizzlies started the first half in dominant fashion taking the first shot of the match in the first minute of play. The squad continued to attack the goal and earned a result in the 13th minute when a blocked clearance attempt got past keeper Laura Atkinson.
Western began an offensive attack nearing the end of the first half sending in five shots and forcing Oakland keeper Shannon Coley to make three key saves to maintain the 1-0 lead heading into the second half.
In the second, the Leathernecks took 14 shots to Oakland's four including one by Kellie Julius that rattled off the crossbar, but could not even the match with a result. The team made Coley work, forcing her to record six saves in the final 45 minutes of play.
"First off, I want to congratulate Oakland on their regular season title," head coach Ted Flogaites said. "The loss is hard to take because I thought our performance was top drawer, and we played ever so well to come away with nothing. I thought at a minimum we deserved a draw. The goal we conceded was a deflection and to lose a potential title on that kind of goal is difficult. I am enormously proud of the squad and thought we gave everything imaginable that we could to the match. The ball wouldn't fall for us. We hit the crossbar, had a ball cleared off the line and their goalkeeper deserves credit because she was tremendous over the stretch of 90 minutes. In the second half, we were electric, and I feel we caused them problems."
Atkinson was tagged with the loss in net bringing her record to 8-3-0 on the season. She allowed one goal and tallied four saves. Chrissy Campbell, Kellie Julius and Gina Scaffidi paced the team in shots on goal with two apiece, while Sarah Blaase, Abby Davis, Skyler Jessop and Jordan Walgren contributed one each.
The Leathernecks will be in action next weekend at the 2012 Summit League Women's Soccer Championship held in Brookings, S.D. beginning on Friday (November 2). Match times are yet to be determined. To view all tournament information, click HERE.
"We are very much looking forward to playing in the tournament," Flogaites added. "My belief in our squad and what we are capable of doing is total and complete. It is virtually impossible to ask to coach better players/human beings. Sports are sometimes cruel and today is one of those days."