By: B.J. Pheasant, Assistant Soccer Coach
(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) – Thomas More College women's soccer hosted preseason top 5 ranked Illinois Wesleyan on Sunday at 1pm. The #5 ranked Saints were led to a 3-0 victory over the Titans by the superb midfield play of Taylor Robinson (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell County). TMC improves their record to 8-0-1 on the season and IWU falls to 3-4-2.
"This was our third game in six days and mentally working through our fatigue factor was important," said TMC head coach Jeff Cummings. "IWU is a tough team with a history of success, which shows in the way they play. Fortunately, we came to play today. And, really, this is Taylor Robinson's neighborhood, we just live in it."
The Saints took the opening kickoff and marched down the field and had their first shot on goal just 24 seconds into the match. In the 9th minute Erika LaRosa (Cincinnati, Ohio/Seton) played Kaitlyn Armentrout (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) down the right side. Armentrout played in an early cross to in Abby Stadtmiller (Alexandria, Ky./Bishop Brossart) cutting between defenders for the one-time volleyed finished and the 1-0 lead.
During the first thirty minutes of the game the Saints controlled play and switched the point of attack keeping the Titans on their heels. Defensively, Taylor Robinson shut down every attempt by IWU to get out of their half of the field in one of the great individual performances of the 2016 season. IWU had no shots on goal in the opening frame.
It was a hot September afternoon and both teams took full advantage of the halftime interval to rehydrate and rest. The Saints were the quicker team off the mark again as just five minutes into the second half they earned a free kick. Stadtmiller got on the end of the free kick and collected it in the penalty box where she put it on a silver platter for Olivia Nienaber (Alexandria, Ky./Bishop Brossart) to touch safely into the net doubling the TMC advantage in the 50th minute.
Thomas More controlled the flow of the game with their passing and timely dispossession by Robinson who continued to put the kibosh on the Titans offense. In the 63rd minute the Bishop Brossart connection was at again. There was another scrum in the box with LaRosa and Stadtmiller involved and the ball was popped out to Neinaber who calmly placed the bouncing pass first touch into the top corner for a brace on the day. Senior goalkeeper Megan Barton (Florence, Ky./Villa Madonna) recorded two saves in the game and cut out several crosses and corner kicks in traffic to earn her 6th shutout of the season.
The Saints final nonconference game is at DePauw on Tuesday the 27th. Their President's Athletic Conference schedule begins on the 1st of October as they host Saint Vincent at noon. Live video and stats are available with links found on TMCSaints.com on the women's soccer schedule page.