Despite outshooting No. 21 Kansas Wesleyan 35-7 and controlling the large majority of possession, the 25th-ranked Westmont women’s soccer team was pushed to the end by the visitors before ultimately prevailing 4-2.
Two first-half goals within the first 20 minutes from Maddi Berthoud and Valerie Swisher had the Warriors in cruise control. Westmont hit the post on multiple occasions and Kansas Wesleyan goalkeeper Daisy Bingham made six crucial saves in the first half to prevent a blowout.
The Warriors were made to pay just before the stroke of halftime when a Michelle Pena penalty kick brought the Coyotes within one.
“They’re coming into halftime and they’re thinking, ‘Oh we’re close, we’re going to fight and press and see what we can get,’” said Westmont coach Jenny Jaggard, whose team outshot the opposition 18-2 in the first 45 minutes. “Unfortunately, some fouls in the box created penalty kick opportunities for them and to their credit they finished those. It put us in a game where we’re stressed out and having to learn how to manage the clock a little bit.”
Bri Johnson scored the elusive third goal off an Isabelle Berthoud cross in the 75th minute that seemingly sent the Warriors on their way after another dominating half. Yet a Westmont handball inside the box gave Kansas Wesleyan another penalty kick, this time converted by Madison Malone, to bring the visitors back within one with just over eight minutes left to play.
The Coyotes (0-2) pushed numbers forward in search of an equalizer, but Maddi Berthoud scored a penalty kick in the final minute of regulation to put the game out of reach. Swisher drew a foul in the box, which allowed the elder Berthoud to score her second of the game.
“Maddi just grinds out there,” said Jaggard. “She’s a player that picks the right moments to go at people and creates mayhem for the backline of the other team. Then there’s moments where she does a great job of spraying balls into the corners for other people. She’s got a good game sense and she did a good job of managing that.”
The win was the fourth in a row for the Warriors (4-1), who have now scored 14 goals in their last four games.