By: Ruby Arani/ GCU Staff
“It’s all about execution.”
This weekend, the Grand Canyon University women’s club soccer team took on two of Arizona’s tough club teams, Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona. The Lopes’ high energy kept both matches extremely competitive, but ultimately, Lopes’ Head Coach Erin Reinke’s words above rang true as a lack of execution on offense saw GCU drop both matches by identical 1-0 decisions.
On Saturday against NAU at Prescott Field, the Lumberjacks started quickly and scored within the first 10 minutes. The goal woke up the Lopes. The GCU women’s club soccer team attacked with high intensity still trailing 1-0 by the end of the first half. Coming into the second half, the Lopes found a new aggressive energy finding couple of opportunities at the Lumberjacks goal, but were unlucky. The match ended with the lone NAU goal. “They played well,” said head coach Erin Reinke. “Their roles and responsibilities and the game plan is coming together. It is just the execution. It is making sure the ball is getting to where we want it to go. They were in the right spots to make the play happen, but again it’s all about execution.”
“I think today’s loss against NAU is going to prepare us to play even better against U of A. I think we have a pretty good chance to pull out a win for tomorrow’s night match.”
GCU Finds their Energy but Loses on the Road in Tucson
Sunday, Reinke knew this would be a tough but good match up as the Lopes journeyed to Tucson to take on the Wildcats of the University of Arizona.
When the whistle blew, the Lopes came out with an aggressive energy to put the Wildcats on their toes. As the first half raged on, the Lopes were able to hold back the Wildcats, ending the first half scoreless. The second half began, and the energy of the Lopes seemed to have dwindled. In the 60th minute, the Wildcats had a cross inside GCU’s box and were able to hit a one-time shot to blow pass Lopes freshman goalkeeper Rachel Wang. The Lopes were now down one.
As the last minutes of the game came to a close, the Lopes’ energy was higher and more aggressive than what Reinke saw at the start of the game. That energy provided the Lopes with a handful of opportunities to score, but were again unlucky. The match ended 1-0.
“We had two great opportunities in the last minutes of the game to at least tie it up,” said Reinke. “If we could play like that the whole game, we will do very well the rest of the season.”
The Lopes will play in Flagstaff on October 14 against the Lumberjacks of NAU and will return home on October 20 to take on the new soccer program of Shepherd University from California. Let’s go Lopes!