MARION, Ind. -- Two second half goals lifted the Indiana Wesleyan University women's soccer team past visiting Huntington (Ind.) University on Tuesday evening in the Crossroads League opener for both teams.
"Huntington is a good team who is going to win a lot of games in conference," said Indiana Wesleyan head coach Dr. John Bratcher. "They made us earn our goals tonight."
The first 73 minutes did not witness any goals. That changed in the 74th minute when Kelsey Johnston scored the game-winning goal off an assist from Annette Somercik. The score was the team-leading 11th goal of the season for the senior forward.
Less than seven minutes later, Katie Pannabecker added an insurance tally in the 81st minute when she beat the keeper from just outside the 18-yard box. The freshman is second on the team with seven goals.
"I'm pleased withthe overall ball possession and we dominated field position," continued Bratcher. "I am also pleased with the adjustments we made for the second half. The girls were playing hard, concentrating on their marks and getting in passing lanes."
Making the two goals stand up was senior goalkeeper Jamie Speidel. She stopped all seven shots she faced, including a one-on-one opportunity for Huntington in the first half. Speidel has gained four shutouts -- plus another shared shutout -- in six starts this year. She has allowed only one goal in six contests.
Indiana Wesleyan doubled up Huntington (7-3-0, 0-1-0 CL) in shots on Tuesday by an 18-9 margin. IWU put 11 shots on the mark while Huntington had seven.
The Wildcats (8-1-0, 1-0-0 CL) have now won four straight matches while not allowing a goal in the last three. IWU will need to keep momentum going forward as the next three matches -- all in the Crossroads League -- will be on the road. The first of those contests is at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at Goshen (Ind.) College.
"A win is a good start to the conference season," added Bratcher. "We have two seasons, the pre conference season and the conference and this is a good start."