Women’s soccer tops Murray State 2-0

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Women’s soccer tops Murray State 2-0

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The Saint Louis University women’s soccer team was back in action on Sept. 27, traveling to Kentucky to play Murray State after a ten day hiatus. This matchup was the last of the non-conference schedule, and the Billikens hoped to carry the momentum from their successful start to the season into conference play.

In the 27th minute, junior forward Cristina Rodriguez found junior forward Kirsten Clemens for her fourth goal of the season. The Billiken defense held strong, allowing SLU to enter the locker room with a 1-0 lead.

The Billikens continued to dominate in the final 45 minutes of the game. Junior midfielder Shaney Sakamoto had a rebound off a corner in the 57th minute that resulted in a goal for SLU’s junior midfielder Danielle Tolmais. This sealed a 2-0 victory for the Billikens.

The Billiken offense was electric, with nine different players having at least one shot on goal. Clemens led the team with a game high four shots, three of which were on goal. Overall, the Billikens had a 16-11 advantage in total shots and a 13-3 domination of shots on goal.

Senior goalkeeper Hanna Benben recorded her first solo shutout of the season, recording three saves in the match. Benben made a miraculous save on a penalty kick in the 20th minute to help SLU accomplish their second shutout in a row and the fourth of the season. With this performance, Benben moves to fourth on SLU’s career victories list with 19 wins.

The women’s team won four of their last five games and possesses their best nonconference winning percentage, .667, since 2008. The Billikens ended non-conference play with a 6-3 record.

The Billikens began their A-10 schedule at home against rival Dayton on Oct. 1.  SLU played in front of their third largest home crowd in program history, with 2,247 in attendance. Although the Flyers outshot the Billikens 12-5, the reliable hands of senior keeper Hanna Benben had three saves and prevented an advantage for Dayton.

The Billikens came out of the locker room full of determination. The offense dominated possession and created multiple opportunities early on, but failed to find the back of the net. Dayton ended the scoring drought in the 61st minute, giving the Flyers a 1-0 advantage.

The Billikens fell to Dayton 1-0. SLU ended the game with a total of six shots on goal. SLU head coach Katie Shields commented on the performance, stating, “Awesome atmosphere … I think the first half was a little tough playing into the wind, but we defended really well. In the second half, if we nipped one of those early chances, I think it is a different ending to the game”. The Billikens will travel to Rhode Island on Oct. 4.