Lady Cougars fall to top ranked Lindsey Wilson in season opener

The Mount Vernon Nazarene University women’s soccer team opened their 2015 season with a 3-0 loss at NAIA defending National Champion and No.1 overall ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) Saturday night. The Lady Cougars stayed with Lindsey Wilson early, but a late first half goal and two more in the second proved to be the difference.

“I was definitely impressed with Lindsey Wilson’s performance tonight,” MVNU Head Coach Daniel Seiffert said. “They are a well-coached dynamic team and deserving of their number one ranking. We fought hard for 90 minutes, but need to clean up our play around the critical moments of the game. This was a great challenge for us to kick off the season.”

The MVNU (0-1-0) defense kept the Lindsey Wilson (1-0-0) offense in check through most of the first half, due to the smart play of Shannon Gywnn, Casey Apple, Regina Rudder, Lydia Simpson, and goalie Ashley Flautt who turned away five shots in the first half in front of the net.

Lindsey Wilson came out firing in the first half as evidenced by 13 total shots. The Lady Cougars were able to hold off Lindsey Wilson until the 44th minute when Lyana Perez scored to put the Lady Blue Raiders up 1-0 with just over a minute until the intermission. Amanda Kander recorded the first of two assists in Saturday’s match on the play.

The Lady Cougars were limited offensively in the first half with just five shots from Casey Apple, Rachel Graver, and Rachel Baker. While not for a lack of effort, the MVNU offense was unable to get anything going against a strong Lindsey Wilson defense in the first half.

MVNU started the second half down 1-0 and continued to stay within striking distance on the strength of the defense. However, Lindsey Wilson extended the lead with a goal in the 65th minute. Amada Kander found Yvonne Ploeg for the score to put Lady Blue Raiders up 2-0.

Lindsey Wilson then tacked on another insurance goal in the 68th minute when Lyana Perez worked through the Lady Cougars defense to post her second score of the night. This time she found the back of the net without the aid of an assist.

The Lady Cougars responded with several shots of their own from Emily Heaton, Kam Courtright, and Allison Payley, but unfortunately nothing would slip past the keeper. Baker ended the night with a team high two shots with one being on goal. Heaton had the only other shot on goal for MVNU in Saturday’s match.

Ashley Flautt played all 90 minutes in goal for the Lady Cougars and made 10 saves. She faced 13 shots on goal from the Lindsey Wilson attack.

Amanda Kander, Yvonne Ploeg, and Lyana Perez all had four shots apiece for the Lady Blue Raiders. Perez scored two goals off the bench and Ploeg was credited with the other while Kander assisted on two of the three scores. Lindsey Wilson generated 22 total shots in the contest. Johanna Henricksson earned the win in net after logging 90 minutes and two saves.

Despite the setback, Saturday’s game proved to be a learning experience for the

Lady Cougars, who opened the season ranked 25th in the NAIA’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

“We learned a lot about our team tonight,” Seiffert added. “I really look forward to getting back to work to improve on some areas quickly.”

MVNU will return to the pitch on Thursday night at Davenport University (Mich.). The kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.