Women's soccer drops home opener to Illinois Central

The Archers women’s soccer team showed plenty of resilience throughout their home opener against Illinois Central College Sunday, but ultimately lost 3-2.

The loss was the third straight for the Archers, who opened the season with consecutive road victories. After falling behind 2-0 within the game’s first 11 minutes, the Archers responded with a goal by sophomore forward Emily Fox. The Archers would remain within one, until Illinois Central responded with a third goal in the 60th minute. The Archers responded 12 minutes later with a goal by Hope Beckerle, but were unable to notch the tying mark, despite several chances on net in the second half.

“We just started off too slowly,” Archers head coach Erin Hesselbach said. “We spot the other team a goal before we start playing, and that’s something we’re going to have to work out. That’s team chemistry, on our own part. That’s nothing soccer-related, and that’s the frustrating part of it. The team intensity has got to be from that first whistle. We’re letting teams dictate how we play, and that doesn’t have to do with soccer skills.”

The game, which was played throughout in 94-degree heat, featured a pair of mid-half hydration breaks, and saw the pace of play slow a bit in the second half. Hesselbach rejected the notion that weather played a role in the outcome, noting that Illinois Central was playing in 90-degree heat for a second straight day.

“It’s hot, but both teams have to play in it,” Hesselbach said. “You can’t make excuses, especially when they played less than 24 hours ago. (The heat) has been brutal, and we haven’t played in it much, but we can’t make excuses for ourselves.”