MOUNT CARMEL -- Two defensive lapses were the difference in the first ever home game for the Wabash Valley College women's soccer team, as Kaskaskia converted those two mistakes into goals to defeat the Lady Warriors 2-nil on Wednesday evening.
The first goal of the night came just about five minutes into action, with the goal being created by a deflection right around the goal, which allowed a Kaskaskia striker to get by Wabash Valley College freshman goalie Kaylee Thaler.
The two teams traded possessions for quite some time, with no one really able to convert on their opportunities.
The Lady Warriors (0-2) got down the field deep enough for arguably their first good look of the game just about 30 minutes into action, but freshman forward Nathalia Garfias' strike swiped just wide left, slightly going astray from the goal.
As the end of the first half neared a pair of Lady Warriors picked up yellow cards, first freshman midfielder Chloe Lobmaster, then freshman midfielder Kaity McCoy picking up one of her own in the waning minutes of the half.
"There were moments in the game we lacked a little bit of mental discipline," WVC Head Women's Soccer Coach Patrick Harris spoke of the yellow cards. "Let the officiating get in the way of it, but with us being freshmen, we've never been there before. We now have to adjust and learn from it."
Coming out of the break Wabash Valley College was in dire need of a strike to draw even, but instead Kaskaskia struck once again just minutes into action, scoring a goal to expand their advantage to 2-nil.
"The two goals I'd say were our goals that cost us," Harris said. "When you make a mistake in the back obviously it's going to be seen. Up top in the midfield it's maybe not as obvious, but when you make two mistakes and they score on them, they did their job, that's what they were supposed to do."
Thaler was impressive at goalie for the Lady Warriors, with her impressive power, kicking the ball consistently at or past midfield, but also her prowess in preventing goals. One in particular came midway through the second half, when Thaler was stuck in a penalty kick. Thaler's instincts were tremendous, accurately predicting the strike right and fully extending her body out to save what would have been a goal.
"When our goalie makes a PK save that's just a huge boost to your morale," Harris spoke of Thaler's save. "After she saved that PK everybody's spirits were boosted and we were ready to go again."
WVC was called for a lot penalties as they tried to rally back, but couldn't muster enough offensive rhythm and consistency to strike back. A good look came late by midfielder Cassie Riess, but the strike strayed wide right.
"They made a mistake and we had an opportunity for a goal and we didn't make ours," Harris said. "Just another learning opportunity, another positive to takeaway that it could be 2-1 right now, we could be talking 2-1 instead of 2-0."
Though it's a tough loss to swallow, Harris saw a lot of positives to takeaway from his team's performance.
"They're a good team, I'm not going to lie, but I don't think we're far off either," Harris said. "Only losing 2-0 to a team that's been around 10-15 years, we're doing something right. Especially with our shape, the way we're moving the ball, we're probably even unfortunate we didn't score one. We had our opportunities, they just made theirs and we didn't plain and simple. That's just sometimes the way soccer works."
The Lady Warriors will continue seeking their first victory in program history into next week, when they travel to face Midway on Saturday (Aug. 31) at noon, followed by a pair of games next week, a Monday (Sept. 2) home game against John Wood CC, followed by a Sept. 9 road challenge against perennial power Lewis and Clark.
"Use Saturday as a good little trial run with our shape and stuff, then we go at it with one of the best teams in the country. I think the girls are ready for it."