By Claire Delman
Special to the Tribune
Under a beautiful sunset at Merlo Field in Portland, Ore. the No. 14 Marquette women’s soccer team opened the 2013 campaign against No. 22 University of Portland Pilots for the first time in school history. The Pilots scored the match’s only goal after some scrambling in the 22nd minute and handed the Golden Eagles a 1-0 defeat.
In the first official game of the 2013 season, Portland presented a stiff test for Marquette. The Pilots won the national title in 2002 and 2005 and went to the second round of the NCAA Tournament this last season.
Marquette played aggressively in the first 10 minutes. However, after an injury timeout for two Portland players which led to one player leaving the field and the other moving to the bench for the remainder of the game, the momentum switched. After a Pilot breakaway, Junior Emily Sippel crossed the ball into the box. Marquette goalie Erin Dees nearly saved it, but after a quick deflection Portland senior Ellen Parker swooped in for the goal to put Portland ahead.
Marquette senior Maegan Kelly pushed forward continually, but could not catch a break. Early on, the team worked on some of the kinks in communication and execution of certain plays. Coach Markus Roeders made 13 substitutions, which suggests his staff is still trying to figure out what works and doesn’t work with this new squad.
The second half was flat on offense as both teams made a few runs, but defense prevailed. The Golden Eagles scrambled for a goal to tie the game, but could not muster up any offense. With the loss, the Golden Eagles needed their win over Portland State Sunday for a split on their West Coast trip.
Athletic Director Larry Williams made a special appearance at the game to honor a former University of Portland professor Larry Lewis who helped many student athletes with their academics while working for the college. Williams previously served as University of Portland’s Athletic Director from 2004 to 2011.