The women’s soccer team dropped Friday’s home game to Wright State 3-0, but bounced back to tie Valparaiso University on the road, 0-0. (Sonya Johnson)

By Stephen Hauser

The Colonels’ defense rose to the occasion on the road and held Valparaiso scoreless for the first time this season. “It felt good,” junior defender Stephanie Murray said. “It was very refreshing to get a shut out again. It definitely helped build our confidence, we just have to keep working hard and stay organized.”

Freshman Goalkeeper Lyndsay Vance made her first career start for the Colonels. Vance’s welcoming present from the Crusaders was a total of 21 shots, and nine of them where shots on goal.

The play on the field was more physically intense than normal play, as the Colonels committed 12 fouls – a season high. And the Crusaders earned 12 fouls of their own.

The game served as a learning opportunity for the Colonels.

“We learned that we can really compete with higher level teams,” Murray said. “We played well against Valparaiso, and if we play like that against OVC teams, we could have a great season.”

On Sunday, The Colonels will attempt to accomplish something they have never done. They’re going to try to defeat the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers.

In their last meeting, the Hilltoppers scored in the 88th minute of the game to win 1-0.

The bitter ending of last year’s game is still fresh in the players’ minds.

“It’s definitely time for revenge and this seems like a good year for it,” Murray said.

The Colonels tied the Hilltopers 1-1 in the 2008 season.

The Hilltoppers are heading into the matchup with the Colonel’s with a record of 1-2-1.

Western’s team has faced fierce competition already this season by playing against the likes of Tennessee University, Mississippi University and Minnesota University.

A couple question marks face the Colonels heading into the game against the Hilltoppers. First is who the goalkeeper will be. Will Stephanie Lynch return to the starting position or will the freshman Vance make her second start? Will the defense have another outstanding game or if corner kicks and early goals will haunt them. Will the offense play to their fullest potential, which they have shown flashes of, or will they continue to underachieve?

The Colonel’s host the Hillltoppers Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.