Eric Andrews | The Echo
The Taylor women's soccer team lost 1-0 to Saint Francis in the Crossroads League Quarterfinals at Turner Stadium on Saturday.
Despite controlling possession for the majority of the first half and outshooting the Cougars 8-2, the Trojans were unable to find the back of the net in the opening frame.
The second half also appeared to be lopsided; the Turner Stadium turf seemed to be tilted toward the Saint Francis goal. While the Trojans mustered 11 shots in the half, it was Saint Francis that converted on a scoring chance five minutes into the second half to claim the 1-0 lead.
The Trojans pushed hard late in the game to try to even the score, but when the final seconds ticked off the clock, the scoreboard read 1-0 in favor of the Cougars. It was only the second defeat of the season for the Trojans, dropping their season record to 14-2-1.
"Actually, I thought the game went really well," head coach Scott Stan said. "We outshot them 19-6; we controlled most of the game. Sometimes soccer is just cruel."
Despite the loss, this season has been nothing short of spectacular for the Trojans, who have set multiple program records and received various honors this fall.
From earning a national ranking for the first time in program history and maintaining it throughout the season, to setting records for most wins and most wins to start a season, to the many awards and honors earned by both players and Stan alike, the 2016-17 Trojans have been the most successful team the program has ever seen.
"Our chemistry has definitely been the game-changer this year," junior Megan Kammer said. "We have definitely had really good friendships and relationships throughout the team, so to be able to be playing with your best friends is a phenomenal thing."
The Trojans hope to continue their season at the NAIA National Tournament, but securing a spot in the tournament remains uncertain-the Trojans would need to receive an at-large bid.
The NAIA uses the regular season rankings to determine who receives the at-large bids. If the favored teams to win their respective conference tournaments do so, the Trojans will have a greater probability of receiving an at-large bid.
Though the season's future remains unclear, the Trojans have continued to practice with the hope that their season is truly just beginning.
"For seniors, it's a little hard," senior Brienna Kruit said. "You don't know if you're supposed to move on or if you're going to be playing in two or three weeks. Whether we are playing or not, you still work hard."
The Trojans' fate will officially be decided on Nov. 14 when the field for the NAIA National Tournament is announced. If the Trojans earn a spot in the tournament, their opening round game will be on Nov. 19.
"Photograph provided by TU Sports Information Department"