After an 0-5 start for the 2017 season, the Blackburn women’s soccer team was able to bounce back not once, but twice, with 2-1 victories in consecutive matches against Rockford (Sept. 16) and Mount Mary (Sept. 22).
In the first of their two wins, Blackburn’s Jasmine Tillman gave the Beavers their first goal of the season in just the seventh minute. Rockford was able to equalize in the 22nd minute and the teams entered halftime tied at one a piece. Five minutes into the second half, sophomore Maya March capitalized on an assist by junior Christin Miller. The lone goal of the half was enough to seal the victory for Blackburn’s first of the year and coach Sohaila Akhavein’s first win as head coach of the women’s program.
In the Beavers’ matchup against Mount Mary, the women were able to put up 34 shots, 16 of which were on goal. Their high-paced offense in the match provided near-immediate results as a shot off the foot of Maya March in the game’s first 90 seconds found its way to the back of the net – March’s second goal in as many games. The team kept firing but were unable to add to their lead until the 35th minute with an unassisted goal by Christin Miller. A Mount Mary goal early in the second half put the pressure on, but Blackburn was able to maintain their lead and seal another 2-1 victory.
As Sunday’s contest drew near, the Beavers were hoping to continue their momentum against Mt. St. Joseph University. Unfortunately for Blackburn, that momentum was taken by the Lions rather quickly and they found themselves down by a goal in the match’s first 15 minutes and three goals at the half.
Throughout the game, Blackburn continued to fight but found themselves rather outmatched and outnumbered. The loss of senior defensive player Meghan Sykora to injury prior to the match also left the Beavers without one of their top players.
In the end, the Lions’ high-paced offense had Blackburn on their heels through most of the match. The team was outshot 60-5 and 30-1 on goal. Sophomore goalie Maria Cline came away with 20 saves for the Beavers, but allowed five goals. Junior Elisabeth Johnston came in to replace her late, giving up one goal and saving four. The final score was 6-0.
The women return to action at home on Sept. 30 at 3 p.m.