Ben Goetz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
On Wednesday, September 29th, the Bears headed over to Messiah College to take on the #5 ranked team in the nation. This was no unusual challenge for our Bears after they racked up two incredibly hard-fought wins the past two games against top-10 ranked opponents. The Bears started out fast with Ellie Bruggeman ‘24 scoring the first goal of the game in the first 20 seconds, assisted by Gabriela Howell ‘22. Bruggeman explained that “because the ball was being advanced up the right side, I was focused on getting ahead of the ball and building the play. When Gabi received the ball in the right corner, I timed my cut to get a step on my defender and get a touch on the ball right in front of the goalkeeper.”
The early goal caught an extremely tough Messiah defense off-guard. The Falcons had only let in nine goals in their previous eight games. Messiah’s offense was hot in the first, mustering a solid five of six shots on net, but Jordan Ulsh ‘23 and the Bear’s defense stood tall. Makayla Malcom struck for the Falcons with 1:12 left in the second quarter with her team-leading 7th goal of the season. The second half started off fast with the Falcons almost netting an opportunity three minutes into the 3rd, but Ulsh knocked the ball down as she sprawled out to her left side. The Bear’s defense stood tall the rest of the game, including for two crucial penalty corners in the fourth. Jordan Moore ‘23 notched her 6th goal of the season with three minutes left in the game, ultimately giving the Bears the win.
Then, the team headed to Kibler Field to take on Washington College on Saturday, October 2. The ladies were firing on all cylinders as the offensive barrage had WAC on their heels, but the Shoremen stood tall and only allowed 3 goals on 16 shots. Ursinus outshot the Shoremen 16 to 8 in Saturday’s contest, but the final score doesn’t reflect the sheer amount of offensive production the team experienced throughout the game. With the win, the Lady Bears improved to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play. The defense, led by Senior Captain Erin Mcllhenny ‘22 and Ulsh, are currently allowing a flustering 1.72 goals per game.
A big part of the Bears’ excellence on the field is due to the team’s mindset and core values. Moore believes the team’s recipe for success this year is, “focusing on taking it one game at a time. Everyone is really buying into the team culture and every time we step on the field, we are playing as one full team for each other.” Ursinus Bears are always the loudest and most energized team on the field, home or away. “One of our core values is humility, which involves never underestimating our opponent. The Centennial Conference is stacked with a lot of really talented teams,” Ulsh concluded. The constant “one game at a time” mentality mixed with a humble core is a recipe for success. We wish our Lady Bears the best of luck this season.