Early goal and bad weather sink USI women’s soccer in Fort Wayne

Published: Sep. 11, 2022 at 9:39 PM CDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Women’s Soccer concluded their weekend road trip Sunday afternoon with a 1-0 loss to Purdue University Fort Wayne in soggy conditions.

On a wet, rainy afternoon in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the elements made it a tough day to find the right footing on the field. The wet conditions also made it difficult to control the soccer ball and to make long kicks.

Unfortunately, for the Screaming Eagles (3-2-2), the Mastodons (4-2-2) scored their goal within the first few minutes. Junior midfielder Zoe Greenhalge struck a sinking line drive from outside the box that bounced in front of USI’s senior goalkeeper Maya Etienne (Midland, Michigan), who blocked the shot off the bounce, but the deflected ball spun backward and into the net. The early goal left plenty of time on the clock for USI to fight back.

Southern Indiana had two shots on goal in the first, both coming on free kicks. Junior midfielder Alexis Schone (Galena, Ohio) took the first in the 26th minute from about 25 to 30 yards out, but the low kick was saved and covered by Purdue Fort Wayne’s senior goalkeeper Samantha Castaneda. Freshman midfielder Peyton Murphy (Bargersville, Indiana) took the second in the 33rd minute from about 22 yards out and to the left, bending the shot down the middle and into the gloves of Castaneda.

The Mastodons took a 1-0 lead into halftime, outshooting the Screaming Eagles 8-2 and 4-2 in shots on goal in the first half.

10 minutes into the second half, the Screaming Eagles had a good look at the goal when freshman defender Charli Grafton (Sunriver, Oregon) took a strong shot with the left foot, forcing Castaneda to make a one-handed, diving save to her right and giving USI a corner kick. Unable to find an equalizing goal at the time, Southern Indiana fought on.

For a lengthy span, Etienne made multiple saves, while her defensive line battled and cleared away attempts by Purdue Fort Wayne to keep the match a one-goal contest.

USI strung together three shots from three different players in a stretch of about seven minutes between the 70th to the 77th minute. Murphy placed one on goal that was saved by Castaneda, and freshman forward Deklan Larring (Franklin, Tennessee) and sophomore midfielder Maggie Duggan (Defiance, Missouri) each fired a shot away.

Southern Indiana continued to apply pressure on Purdue Fort Wayne, earning numerous set pieces and corner kicks in the last ten minutes. Junior midfielder Avery Schone (Galena, Ohio) had the last shot on goal for the Screaming Eagles that went to the low right, but once again, Castaneda made the save for the Mastodons.

For the match, Southern Indiana had seven shots with five on goal, while Purdue Fort Wayne had 17 shots with seven on goal. USI earned six corner kicks to the Mastodons’ four.

Individually, Murphy led USI’s offense with two shots, both on goal. Avery Schone, Alexis Schone, and Grafton each had a shot on goal. Between the posts, Etienne made six saves, continuing to have played every minute in goal for the Screaming Eagles this season.

USI will prepare this week for their Ohio Valley Conference opener next Sunday on the road against the Morehead State Eagles at noon CT. The match will be available to watch with an ESPN+ subscription.