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Rodriguez scores in four straight contests to propel Billikens past Fordham, Saint Joseph’s

Celebrate%3A+The+women%E2%80%99s+soccer+team+celebrates+one+of+four+goals+in+a+game+against+UNO.+The+Billikens+scored+two+goals+in+each+half+of+the+contest.%0AEmma+Kelly+%2F+Staff+Photographer
Celebrate: The women’s soccer team celebrates one of four goals in a game against UNO. The Billikens scored two goals in each half of the contest.
Emma Kelly / Staff Photographer

Celebrate: The women’s soccer team celebrates one of four goals in a game against UNO. The Billikens scored two goals in each half of the contest. Emma Kelly / Staff Photographer

Celebrate: The women’s soccer team celebrates one of four goals in a game against UNO. The Billikens scored two goals in each half of the contest. Emma Kelly / Staff Photographer

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Celebrate: The women’s soccer team celebrates one of four goals in a game against UNO. The Billikens scored two goals in each half of the contest. Emma Kelly / Staff Photographer

Celebrate: The women’s soccer team celebrates one of four goals in a game against UNO. The Billikens scored two goals in each half of the contest.
Emma Kelly / Staff Photographer

SLU’s women’s soccer team has seen mixed results since its loss against Dayton to open Atlantic 10 conference play. Over the past two weeks, the Billikens have tallied two wins and losses apiece, earning victories over St. Joseph’s and Fordham, while falling to George Mason and A-10 leader La Salle. With these performances, the Billikens stand at 3-2 against A-10 opponents and 7-8 overall.

Friday, Oct. 10 was a disappointing night for the Billikens, who came up short in their 2-1 loss at George Mason. George Mason took an early lead, but sophomore Christina Rodriguez scored the equalizer in the 19th minute off an assist by sophomore Kirsten Clemens.

Despite a career-high six shots by Rodriguez, the score held until the 61st minute, when the Patriots took back the lead. It was the first conference win for George Mason and their third win overall.

The Billikens’ match two days later on Sunday, Oct. 12, was much more fruitful, with a come-from-behind win over St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia. Rodriguez scored early in the first half, once again with the assist of Clemens. However, a goal in the 11th and a penalty kick in the 20th minutes gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead at halftime.

The Billikens tied it up in the 62nd minute when sophomore Danielle Tolmais found the back of the net on off a corner kick. This was followed 12 minutes later by junior Michelle Schwarz’s first career goal, which gave the Billikens a 3-2 win.

This was SLU’s first victory over St. Joseph’s since 2007. This left the Hawks, who unexpectedly defeated pre-season favorite Dayton, at 1-3 for conference play this season.

This past Friday, Oct. 17, the Billikens earned their second conference win of the season when they beat Fordham 2-0, on home turf, in Hermann Stadium. Senior Maddy Bush scored her first goal off a header late in the first half, thanks to a well-placed free kick by Tolmais, who now leads the team with five assists.

Less than three minutes into the second half, the Billikens doubled their lead when Rodriguez found the back of the net for the fifth time this season. Junior Livi Logan-Wood was credited for the assist, her second of the season.

Junior goalkeeper Hanna Benben tallied five saves to keep Fordham scoreless in SLU’s first shutout of the season.

Unfortunately, the Billikens’ two-game win streak was cut short two days later on Sunday, Oct. 19. SLU contested the undefeated La Salle at home, but fell short, 2-1. SLU took the lead in the 22nd minute when La Salle’s defense blocked a shot by Clemens with a handball in the box. Rodriguez took the penalty kick and scored yet again, bringing her tally up to six and tying Clemens for the top spot in both goals and points.

Benben denied her opponents the equalizer on a penalty kick of their own in the 34th minute, but the relief was short-lived, as the Explorers scored off a header on the resulting corner kick. The second half was hotly contested; though the Billikens kept up the pressure, outshooting their opponents 11-5, La Salle repeated their earlier goal, scoring with a header on a corner kick in the 86th minute. It was an impressive yet ultimately disappointing effort by the Billikens to unseat the A-10 leaders, who move to 5-0 in conference play.

With a mediocre A-10 record of 2-3, and similar overall record of 7-8, the Billikens are looking forward to finishing their season strong. Three games remain before the A-10 Championship in Dayton, from Nov. 6-9.

The Billikens will head to North Carolina to take on Davidson this Saturday, Oct. 25. Davidson is 1-4 in conference play and 4-11-1 overall. The following weekend, SLU will host VCU (3-1-1 in conference, 7-4-4 overall) and George Washington (3-1-1 in conference, 10-3-1 overall), at Hermann Stadium, on Friday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 2 respectively.

The season ends with the conference championship in Dayton, Ohio Nov. 6-9.

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Rodriguez scores in four straight contests to propel Billikens past Fordham, Saint Joseph’s