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Soccer: Blue Raider Women capture elusive first victory of 2022

From Lindsey Athletics

Lebanon, TN - It's no secret that the Lindsey Wilson women's soccer team's schedule has been a gauntlet of one ranked opponent after another, and Sunday was no exception. For the second time in as many matches, the Blue Raiders ventured south to Tennessee to square off against another top-15-ranked rival in No. 13 Cumberland University.

After posting back-to-back draws in their last two outings, the locals got the edge they needed to push them over the hump and secure their first win of the season, 4-3.

"Today was a good confidence booster for the girls for sure," noted assistant coach Elisha Fry. "We know that every game in the Mid-South is going to be tough, so they cannot quite relax, but we're fortunate we could finish this game out because we had been close in the last couple of games.

The Lindsey Wilson offense was fanned by Rayssa De Souza, whose conversion on a penalty kick in the second half proved to be the difference.

"We played good today," expressed De Souza. "(Cumberland) is a difficult team to play against, but we played hard."

The scoring in this affair began off the foot of the Blue Raiders' senior forward as she completed a tic-tac-toe pass from Silvia Marchesi and Emma Lindell to beat the Phoenix netminder on her far side.

It was Lindsey Wilson's earliest goal of the year, coming in the second minute, but it did not hold for long. In fact, just five minutes later, the home side rattled in a free kick to swiftly level the match at 1-1.

The visitors kept the pressure on, nevertheless, and in the 20th minute, a cross sent in by Lindell was redirected off a Cumberland defender and into the back of the net to restore the Blue Raiders' lead.

Then, in the 26th minute, a line drive free kick from Britt Tonis found the head of De Souza and trickled in past the defense for her second tally of the day.

Trailing 3-1 entering the second half, the Phoenix came out of the break with newfound energy. In the 59th minute, a span of 26 seconds saw Cumberland send two goals behind Maya Caon, effectively tying the game at 3-3.

"I told the team at halftime that this game is not over," said Fry. "Cumberland played aggressively in the second half and got it to 3-3 just like that, so we have to learn how to protect the lead because that's a situation we just had not been in yet this season."

Caon did rebound down the stretch, with her efforts ultimately setting up De Souza's spot kick opportunity in the 70th minute. From there the Blue Raider defense stood strong to preserve the victory.

"We ask the kids every day to work hard, trust the process and the wins will come," added Fry.

All told, Cumberland narrowly outshot Lindsey Wilson 16-15, including 12-9 in the second half. The Blue Raiders, on the other hand, held a 10-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Sunday marked the conclusion of the local's two-game Tennessee road trip. Next, they return to Columbia to host Thomas More University on September 28 at 5 p.m. CST.

This story was posted on 2022-09-26 08:40:35
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