DeWolf can lead the Panthers’ offense


Bryan Bund

Forward Sarah DeWolf, No.9, and defender Lindsey Carlson, No.27, fight for the ball against a UW-Milwaukee attacker. The Panthers lost the Sunday afternoon game 2-0 at Lakeside Field.

Dillan Schorfheide, Women's Soccer Reporter

Eastern’s women’s soccer team has lost six straight matches, five of them to conference opponents, and over that span the team scored one goal. But by no means is the team playing “bad.”

By no means are the team’s main scorers, as of right now, bad or not playing well; in fact, it is the opposite. Four players for Eastern, Kate Olson, Hannah Heinz, Henar Urteaga and Sarah DeWolf, have three goals each this season. They just have not come at opportune time as of late.

DeWolf has been the main forward this season, and throughout the losing streak she has had a lot of the team’s chances to score. Both in the Panthers’ loss to Southern Illinois Edwardsville, the conference opener, and the loss to Morehead State, the most recent match, DeWolf got a few chances to score within a few feet of the goal.

The offense does not need a huge makeover or anything, but it needs a bonafiede scorer.

DeWolf is the best candidate to be that scorer. She has good speed, she can defeat defenders off the dribble and she has shown that she can finish in front of the goal. But she might need a partner up top to get the Panthers’ offense rolling again.

That is where the freshman Niondina Nystrom comes into play.

She is fast and has great stamina. Late into the game she can still sprint full-speed to dribble the ball or track down a defender. While she is a valuable piece in the midfield for her speed and stamina, and also for her defense and field vision, putting her at forward would give the Panthers the edge they need on offense.

Nystrom can be the forward who can chase down through balls and, if need be, can make crosses into the box for DeWolf and company. In fact, that was how the team won against Green Bay on Aug. 25.

Nystrom dribbled the ball into the right corner of the field and made a cross into the box, which DeWolf headed home with 61 seconds left in the match for the 1-0 victory. Nystrom can also score if need be; she scored her first and only goal of the season in the 5-1 victory over Chicago State.

Put it this way: Murray State, which is barely second place in the OVC and is most likely the toughest team in the conference, has one player who has a majority of the team’s goals.

Senior Harriet Withers has 12 of the Racers’ 21 goals on the year, and Murray State is 9-1-1 overall, 4-0-1 in conference.

This weekend, Eastern has two home matches. Eastern hosts Jacksonville State Friday, which is 4-7-2 overall and 10th in the OVC with a 1-4 conference record. Then Sunday, for senior day, Eastern faces Tennessee Tech, which is 6-4-1 overall with a 3-1-1 conference record in third place in the OVC.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 

581-2812 or [email protected].