Midway through the first half on Friday, Caroline Wistrom delivered a shot that deflected off the post, and just missed crossing the line as supporters muttered in disbelief.
It was that kind of night for the Lady Govs, losing 0-2 against Ole Miss at Morgan Brothers Field. Wistrom and Mallory Burman paced the home team with two shots each, but the Rebels had too much firepower, taking a total of 22 shots. Olivia Harrison recorded both goals in a span of three minutes, one unassisted from 12 yards out, while Bethany Bunker found her open in the box for the second.
Goals have been scarce for APSU this season, being held scoreless in six of their seven games. However, the Lady Govs created more scoring opportunities than previous contests, and head coach Kelley Guth is seeing the strides being made.
“Obviously, the result didn’t go in our favor, but I really see a lot of progress tonight,” she said. “Ole Miss is a good team and we were pretty effective in the middle to attacking third. We generated more of a threat against them, which is what we’ve been working on all week in training. From a coaching standpoint, it’s really exciting.”
APSU has been able to take advantage of having just one game each week during the three-game homestand. The coaching staff has been able to determine a number things, one of which trying to find the right lineup before conference play begins. Goalkeeper continues to be a battle between both Katie Emig and Lindsey Todd, who split time on Friday, as well as Nikki Filippone.
Guth said it’s huge having just one game a weekend heading into OVC play on Sept. 26, trying to remain healthy. However, the Lady Govs have had another starter go down in defender Natalie Smith, who suffered a knee injury. That’s now two starters for APSU, the other being Shelby Olszewski, who have forced reserves to step up.
On Friday, Guth thought Maggie Ethridge played well in place of Smith, never leaving her spot at centre back throughout the full 90 minutes.
“It makes a little bit thinner in the back, but at the same time, I thought Maggie stepped up and played a great game,” Guth said. “Mallory and Claire (Pultz) do well on the outside, so you’ve got to take what’s dealt to you and make the best of it. Natalie is going to be a supporter on the sideline and help her team the best she can. We’re going to move forward and prepare the players that are able to play.”
APSU will have another week off from game action before hosting Samford on Friday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.