Southeast Missouri State University's women's soccer team cranked up its offense Friday night as the Otahkians won their home opener.
After scoring a total of three goals in their first four games, the Otahkians broke loose for a 4-1 victory over Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis in front of an announced crowd of 223 at Houck Stadium.
Freshman Molli Beard scored her first two career goals, Erin Slattery got her team-leading third goal of the season and Lisa Schweppe scored for the first time this year as the Otahkians improved to 2-1-2. The Jaguars fell to 0-4.
"This was a good game for us to see who could put the ball in the net," Southeast coach Heather Nelson said. "I was pleased in the first half. Our speed of play was good. In the second half, it was hard to keep focused.
"The best thing about the game is we got to play everybody."
A breather for a change
After playing four close games to start the season, the Otahkians expected a breather and got one against struggling IUPUI, which has been outscored 15-4.
Most of the contest was spent in IUPUI's end of the field as the Otahkians held a whopping 20-2 edge in shots. Southeast keeper Amanda Wrzos was forced to make just one save and the Jaguars' lone goal came late after Wrzos mishandled a ball.
"I thought we played well," said Michelle Frossard, who had two assists. "We needed to get a win and it was nice to finally play at home. But we still need to work on some things."
Schweppe had two assists in addition to her goal while Ashley DeRoy and Marla Gianino also added assists.
"I thought we played pretty good," DeRoy said. "It was nice to get our offense going like that."
Southeast went ahead barely a minute into the game as Slattery took a nice pass from Frossard and scored from directly in front of the net.
However, a short time latter Slattery went down with an apparent ankle injury. She did not play the rest of the way and was on crutches following the contest.
"We're not sure how bad she's hurt but hopefully she'll be fine," Nelson said. "She's been playing well."
Schweppe scored a little more than 15 minutes into the contest after taking a pass from Frossard. The Otahkians carried a 2-0 lead into halftime.
Beard was the star of the second half, scoring two impressive goals midway through the period in her first action of the season as she had been out with a broken toe.
"That was quite a first game for her," Nelson said.
IUPUI ended Southeast's shutout bid with a little under 15 minutes left as Renee Grant scored.
But all in all it was a strong Houck Stadium opener for the Otahkians, who will have another home match Sunday when Southwest Missouri State visits at 2 p.m.
"We needed to get this win at home," DeRoy said. "It's always good to have the home fans cheering us on."