The McPherson College women's soccer team started a winning streak on Saturday, defeating the University of St. Mary Spires, 2-1 on Senior Day.
The Bulldogs, now 3-8-3 on the season, and winners of two games in a row, scored a goal in each half to secure the win. Their first goal came in the 24th minute of the game. Dina Der Vartanian challenged the Spires' goal keeper on a 50/50 ball and came out on the winning end. The ball rolled toward the end line and as one of the Spires' defenders tried to clear it off the line, it deflected off the leg of Annie Weesner and went into the back of the net for the first goal of her collegiate career.
Late in the first half, the Bulldog defense failed to clear a ball in their defensive third of the field, and the mistake cost them. The Spires' Natasha Webster collected the ball, then fired a missile in to the side netting past the outstretched arm of Christie Silber, who was in goal for the Bulldogs. The final nine minutes of the half remained scoreless, and the two teams headed into the halftime intermission knotted at one.
Neither team was able to crack the code through the first 37 minutes of the second half. Finally, in the 82nd minute, Makaylee Bryson found herself with the ball on the near sideline with space in front of her. She dribbled about 25 yards, then served a ball into the 18 yard box. Jordan Bruner was making a run into the box from the left wing and was in the right spot at the right time. The ball found her head, and she put it back across the box, crossing up the Spires' net minder, and into the side netting.
There were a couple of tense moments down the stretch, but the Bulldogs were able to weather the storm and Bruner's goal would stand as the game winner. The Bulldogs outshot the Spires 14-6, and 9-5 in shots on goal. Silber faced five shots on frame from the Spires and came away with four saves.
"It's always nice to get a win on senior day," Bulldog skipper Mark Olson said. "Our five seniors have meant a lot to this program and everyone understands that the job is not done yet. I think this team is starting to understand what it takes to win games and we look to add a third in a row next Wednesday against York."
Olson eluded to, the Bulldogs will face the York College Panthers at home next week on Wednesday. Kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m. at Paul Family Field.