MOUNT PLEASANT – Takara Harden scored with 1:45 left in regulation and Clarke College posted a 2-1 win over an Iowa Wesleyan College women’s soccer team playing with heavy hearts Wednesday afternoon at East Lake Park.
After the two teams were tied for nearly 80 minutes, the Crusaders broke the gridlock late and eventually improved to 5-1-1 in the Midwest Collegiate Conference, 7-4-3 overall. Wesleyan dropped its fifth straight match and fell to 1-5 in conference, 6-8-1 overall.
The Tigers were playing for the first time since the death of Brianna (Bree) Culp, a member of the IWC women’s soccer team who passed away Sunday night. Iowa Wesleyan wore its black uniforms for the match on Wednesday, and players wore ‘BC8’ patches on their sleeves displaying their former teammate’s initials and jersey number.
IWC got off to exactly the start it could have hoped for when Jillian Sulcer (So.-Mechanicsburg, Ill.) scored the match’s opening goal just 3:19 in. Sulcer tallied her fifth goal of the season by cleaning up after a corner kick by Taylor Scott (So.-Rockton, Ill.), whose boot into play was deflected away but not out by several Crusader defenders.
Clarke came back shortly after, when Kelsey Gleich scored an unassisted goal to tie the score in the ninth minute. The score then remained that way much of the rest of the match. The teams were tied at halftime despite IWC posting a 6-2 advantage in shots in the first half.
The Crusaders reversed that advantage in the second half with a 6-2 lead in shots in the final 45 minutes. Clarke continued to apply pressure much of the half and finally broke through late when Bekah Willich received the ball behind the defense and found Harden, who knocked the ball in past goalkeeper Cara Arnold (So.-Davis Junction, Ill.) for what turned out to be the winning goal.
Arnold finished with one save in the match for IWC, which had a 5-3 advantage in shots on goal. Scott led the Tigers with four shots, two on goal. Kaylee Steen made four saves in goal for Clarke.
The Tigers will be home again on Saturday for a non-conference match against William Woods University. Match time at East Lake Park against the Owls will be 1 p.m.
For more information regarding the IWC soccer programs or any of the Tiger athletic teams, contact sports information director Adam Glatczak (319-385-6306 phone; 319-385-6384 FAX; firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
Box score Clarke 2 IWC 1