BEREA, Ohio - In a competitive, down-to-the-wire game that could have gone either way, the Baldwin Wallace University women's soccer team outlasted Case Western Reserve University 1-0 in the team's home opener.
For the first 20 minutes, Case (3-2) controlled the tempo of the game, putting the Yellow Jackets (3-3) under constant on-the-ball pressure, stretching the defense and taking four shots before BW could even get one look at the net.
Once the Yellow Jackets started to find their energy, however, it carried through the rest of the game. Junior All-Ohio Athletic Conference and Academic All-OAC standout forward Rachel Bender (Massillon/Jackson) made a lot of runs up the far right side of the field, drawing the Spartan defense to her. With the defenders occupied, her teammates were able to find ways to get open looks at the goal. BW's best look in perhaps the entire first half came in the 39th minute when Bender hit the post on one of her two shots on the night.
Tied 0-0 at halftime, the Yellow Jackets came out and dictated the rhythm in the second half, staying active all the way from the front to the back line. The score would remain tied, however, until the 80th minute of the game. Following a free kick, freshman midfielder Kenna Stones (Dresden/Tri-Valley) gave a header cross to fellow freshman midfielder Kayla Webb (Brunswick), who tapped the ball into the net for her first collegiate goal. Stones also earned her first collegiate assist on the play.
With a 0-0 tie heading into the 80th minute, the game could have gone either way, as evidenced by the near-identical team statistics. Case Western took 13 shots to BW's 1 while the Spartan goalie outsaved sophomore goalkeeper Emma Bruno (Pittsburgh, Pa./Bethel Park) two saves to one. Bruno recorded her second shutout of the season and the fifth of her career with the 1-0 victory and currently features a 0.57 goals against average.
BW will join the men's soccer team on the road on Saturday, September 16, when both teams travel down to Bluffton to take on Bluffton University. The women's game will begin at 1 p.m.