TERRE HAUTE —
In disputes over property ownership, the saying “possession is nine-tenths of the law” frequently comes into play.
On a beautiful, sunny Wednesday afternoon at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, the host Pomeroys were reminded that lack of possession usually leads to defeat in women’s soccer.
That proved to be the case in this annual battle of cross-county rivals as four different Rose-Hulman players scored — three in the first half — to lead the possession-minded Engineers over The Woods 4-1.
“They possessed the ball better,” Woods coach Mike Aycock admitted. “In the first half, the looks they got at goal were all good looks.”
“We did possess the ball,” Rose coach Amy Helliwell mentioned. “We’ve been working on that in practice lately and it showed today.
“We’ve also been working on switching the point of attack. I thought we did that a lot better today than what we had done in previous games.”
Rose-Hulman outshot the Pomeroys 28-7 to earn its seventh consecutive win in the series.
Rose sophomore Rachel Johnstone chalked up the first goal on a double assist from Nicky Wheeler and Anna Vogel.
“That was good passing and a good finish,” Helliwell noted.
The visitors pushed their advantage to 2-0 a short time later when senior Carolyn Guzik found the back of the net on a pass from Vogel.
The Engineers padded their cushion to 3-0 on a goal by freshman Haley O’Neil with an assist from Wheeler in the 29th minute. O’Neil got around The Woods’ goalkeeper on the right side and booted the ball in from close range.
Perhaps the prettiest goal of the day was posted by The Woods’ Jessica Black, who kicked it from the left corner and watched it gradually curve into the net with 9:01 left in the first half.
“That was a lovely touch,” Aycock remarked, “but that’s kind of her forte.”
Almost 14 minutes into the second half, Rose-Hulman registered the final tally of the match on a close-range kick from sophomore Cassie Cox after the ball ricocheted like a pinball in front of the Pomeroys’ net.
Afterward, Aycock found a bright side to his squad’s seventh loss in as many matches this season.
“We’ve had some injuries, so we’re short on players,” he explained. “So we couldn’t cover the field as well as they could. But I think we stayed organized, even though we couldn’t cover the field quite as well as we would have liked.”
The Pomeroys, who wore pink shirts Wednesday in conjunction with “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” will try to pick up their first victory Friday in a home match against Andrews University.
Rose (4-7) will visit Hanover for a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference clash Saturday.
“The girls have to build on this [triumph over The Woods] and take it into Saturday and play with the passion and intensity that we need,” Helliwell emphasized.
Rose-Hulman 3 1 — 4
St. Mary-of-the-Woods 1 0 — 1
RH — Rachel Johnstone (Nicky Wheeler, Anna Vogel), 32:31 1H
RH — Carolyn Guzik (Vogel), 31:02 1H
RH — Haley O’Neil (Wheeler), 16:10 1H
SMWC — Jessica Black, 9:01 1H
RH — Cassie Cox, 31:06 2H