MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois women's soccer (8-2-0, 1-0) began Summit League play with a 4-1 victory over Kansas City (3-6-3, 0-1) on Friday (September 28). Each Leatherneck goal was scored from a player coming off of the bench.
Chrissy Campbell netted the match's opening goal in the 39th minute of play after the Kansas City keeper Nina Tzianos was drawn out of the net by Sloane Levin. It was Levin's third assist of the year and Campbell's third time finding the back of the net.
Three minutes after, Jordan Walgren bent a corner kick into the net, notching the eventual game-winning goal. Western's offense struck again in the 52nd minute when Taylor Henning headed a pass to Sarah Wright who buried a shot into the net from 15 yards out for a 3-0 advantage.
The Leathernecks captalized on a Kansas City turnover in their own zone for their fourth goal of the match. Levin picked up her second assist of the day on the play and Skyler Jessop finished putting the ball into the back right of the net for her fourth goal of the year.
Despite an impressive defensive effort put forth by Western keeper Laura Atkinson and the back line, including a header save out of Jordan Spaciel, the Kangaroos were able to fire a close range shot into the back of the net past a diving Atkinson to spoil the shutout bid.
"I thought that Laura was exceptional in the air, dominant and commanding the way a goalkeeper should be," head coach Ted Flogaites said. "When balls were played into the box she made some very difficult catches look easy. I thought the defenders were phenomenal, in particular Jordan Spacial. I don’t think she was beat once all match, her timing of the tackle was fantastic, defended well, had unbelievable desire. To be honest I’m a little bitter that we didn’t have a shutout cause I thought they deserved it."
Western finished the match with 21 shots, four for goals, compared to Kansas City's 18 shots and one goal. Atkinson notched eight saves, while Tzianos tallied six.
The Fighting Leathernecks return to John MacKenzie Alumni Field on Sunday (September 30) for their second conference match of the season against South Dakota. The match is slated to begin at 12 p.m.