ANKENY, Iowa—The final score didn't tell the whole story. Even though Faith lost 5-1 to the Providence Pilots Thursday afternoon at Pyche Field, the Eagles held their own for most of the game against the nation's second-ranked team.
Faith and Providence played mostly even soccer for the entire first half, with the only score coming at the 20:57 mark by Providence.
Even after the halftime break and another Pilots goal at 47:15, which gave them a 2-0 lead, all did not seem lost—especially after Lyndi Shepard answered 35 seconds later on a header to cut the lead to 2-1.
Providence scored again at 58:08, but even with a 3-1 deficit, the Eagles were still within striking distance.
The last ten minutes though, the wheels fell off. Providence added two more goals, and an injury to defender Janet Busenitz added salt to the wounds of the Eagles who have lost two in a row for the first time this season. Faith's record now stands at 4-3.
"I thought we played well for a half," said Coach Brandon Fritz. "We demonstrated at times we can be a physical team and defend attacks well. We struggled in the second half to really get into an offensive flow where we controlled the ball for any length of time to create a good opportunity to score. Providence is a really good team and their defense created rushed or panic-like attacks leading to wasted offensive opportunities. This game served us well in narrowing a strategy for improvement closing out the second half of our season."
The Eagles hit the field again on Saturday morning in Ankeny at 10:00 a.m. against North Central University.