On Aug 30th, the Sonoma State Women’s Soccer team played Dominican University at the Seawolf Soccer Field. The Seawolves looked dominant and seemed to control the pace for much of the game but unfortunately could not pull out the win.
This was the first game for the Seawolves regular season, playing their rival, the Penguins. The pressure was on and you could feel the tension in the air; the Seawolves were ready for the battle. After winning their last matchup last season 2-0, the Seawolves were looking to replicate those same results.
The first half was rough for the Women’s Soccer team after the Seawolves found themselves trailing 1-0 after a goal by the Penguins in the early parts of the first half. The Seawolves started playing like they were behind and amped up their aggressiveness and physicality on the offensive end.
The Seawolves also tightened up their defense and were looking to make plays for their teammates. They seemed to be making more of the difficult passes and were trying to pressure the opponent’s goalie. The Penguin’s goalie was forced to be extremely active, coming outside the box because of the Seawolves. Unfortunately, all the shots taken in the first half did not result in any goals for the Seawolves.
In the second half, the Seawolves were looking to make this an even game. Around the 52nd minute of the game, the Seawolves would finally see a goal after many attempts. Sophomore forward, Ashley vonTillow, would see the ball from about 40 yards away from the goal and sends a complete rocket, the opposing goalie would get her hands on the ball but the ball had so much velocity that she couldn’t stop it.
The shot sent by vonTillow was a complete banger that gave life back to the Seawolves audience and to the team. This would also be the Sophomore’s first goal of the season. After the equalizing goal, the Seawolves continued to play a gritty game; they also looked more relaxed as they were making better plays for each other, moving the ball from side to side and making sure that the whole team was getting their touches.
The opposing team, the Penguins, found themselves struggling against the Seawolves offensive pushes. The Penguins seemed to be tired and depleted as they continued making substitutions all throughout the second half, the pressure the Seawolves were applying to the Penguins defense was taking a toll on the opposing team’s stamina.
The Penguins looked lethargic towards the end of the game as they seemed to be throwing the ball away most possessions. The Seawolves would see more shot opportunities than the Penguins in the second half but could not capitalize on any of them but the one goal.
The game was in a gridlock as it was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation. The Seawolves and Penguins would have the opportunity to win the game in a golden goal opportunity during over time. The Seawolves still looked like they controlled the game but they simply could not capitalize on the opportunities they were seeing. The team was also feeling fatigued; the Seawolves were expelling all their energy trying to get that elusive goal.
The game for the Seawolves wouldn’t change as they would continue playing physical and having control of the ball for most the game. The Seawolves would see a header opportunity but could not capitalize after a save from the opposing goalie. The first overtime would end still tied at 1-1, this game was looking like a nail-biter.
The second and final overtime would start and at this point, the Penguins looked extremely fatigued as their movement and hustle were not up to par with the Seawolves willingness and aggressiveness for the ball.
The Seawolves were on their last legs of this battle and they wanted to pull out the win. After continuing the trend of controlling the ball for most the time, the Seawolves would see many opportunities but still could not capitalize.
At the final minutes of the second overtime, both teams would give it everything they got. The Penguins would see their fair share of shots at the goal but were just as unlucky as the Seawolves. The final seconds of the game the Seawolves would almost make themselves an opportunity to win the game, a ball from the left side of the field would be crossed and the Seawolves got a chance to head the ball in but the header was unsuccessful after a goal saved by the Penguins. The Seawolves would play a great game but unfortunately could not grab the win as both teams ended with a draw.
Catching up with Forward, Ashley vonTillow, she discussed what was going on in her head when she made the 40-yard shot to equalize the game in the second half. VonTillow states “I knew we needed a goal” as she continued, “I knew we needed to get into the attack, so once I saw the opportunity, I took it.”
After asking vonTillow about her opinions on what the team learned after this game she went on to say, “we need to keep fighting until the end and we need to have grit”, adding that, “We need to put this in the past and keep moving forward.” The next big home match will be against their rivals, the Humboldt Jacks, on Wednesday, Sept. 12th at the Seawolf Soccer Field.