2019 Season Comes to an End
The Western Illinois women’s soccer team started the 2019 campaign with some serious momentum, as they began 6-5-1 with a 3-match Summit League winning streak and sat in first in the Summit through that run. The momentum gradually slipped, unfortunately, and WIU went on a run of difficult results that would see them eventually eliminated from the Summit League Tournament.
That run culminated on Sunday, as the women headed to Vermillion to take on the South Dakota Coyotes. Despite a tightly contested shot battle and another impressive performance from goalie Ines Palmiero-Herrera, the Leathernecks were unable to overcome USD, falling 2-0. The loss marks WIU’s 5th in a row in Summit League play.
The result may have been a bit disappointing, as will the losing skid to end the year, but there were plenty of things for the Leathernecks to build on from 2019. The Leathernecks got a ton of production out of a mostly young attack, with sophomore English recruits Zoe Clarke and Amy Andrews showing real promise for their final two years in the Purple and Gold. Jenna Lundgren had a positive performance in 2019, with her ability to consistently find herself on the ball or in position to win it back on full display.
The youth extended throughout the team, as the Leathernecks will bring back the bulk of their defensive line and wings. Freshman Lynette Hawkins and sophomore Cassidy Grunewald provided WIU with excellent wide service all season long, while Lauryn Peters had a stellar season as the Leathernecks’ captain centre-back and Bridget Schuler provided excellent defense as well. There will be a new Leatherneck in net next season, with Madison McKay and Lilly Doneghue representing returning freshman options and Megan Rasmussen coming back for her senior season.
The Leathernecks will be hoping to build on what has been an exciting season filled with accomplishments and those of us who call ourselves Leatherneck fans cannot wait to see what the future holds. The excitement is real as it looks like Director of Soccer, Eric Johnson, has this team ready for its next successful run.