The Rams (1-9) fell on the road Monday afternoon in Findlay, Ohio, to the Oilers (4-5) of Findlay University by a 13-4 score.
Similar to many games this season, the Rams’ defense could not stop the penetration of the opposing offense, as the Oilers hounded the Rams’ junior goalkeeper Casey Hickman (10 saves) to the tune of 30 shots.
While Hickman did stop many of them, clearly the defense let her down multiple times. Six different Oilers had at least one goal, showing their versatility and potency on the offensive side of the ball.
Midway through the first half, with the game tied at 1-1, midfielder Maddi Brown penetrated the Rams’ defense and found the back of the net to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead.
Attacker Brie Caruso scored two more goals for the Oilers in a 58-second span to give the Oilers some separation from the Rams, with a 4-1 lead. Caruso would add a goal in the second half to finish the game with three in total.
Senior attacker Brooke Hunley scored two goals for the Rams, one unassisted and the other assisted by fellow senior attacker Kiana Miller, to trim the lead to 5-3 with close to seven minutes left in the first half. From then on, the Oilers closed the game out on a 8-1 run, with the Rams never really getting back into the game.
Caruso, attacker Kyra Bradley, and midfielders Emma Spellman and Olivia Sherman all scored goals in the second half to showcase their offensive versatility.
The last score for the Rams on the day came from senior midfielder Haley Price, who sliced her way through the Oilers’ defense and sent the ball to the back of the net with 18:46 to play.
With 23 shots on goal compared to the Rams’ 13, it was clear the Oilers were operating at a much higher percentage offensively. Losing the turnover battle 24-17 did not help matters for the Rams either, as they could not advance the ball down field at times without committing a blunder.
The Rams were 11-of-16 in clears, while the Oilers were 11-of-12. Coming up with a 35-25 edge in ground balls really showed that the Oilers got to every loose ball and appeared to want it more than the Rams.
In draw controls, the Rams lost this facet of the game as well, losing 11-8. With free-position shots, the Oilers held a 6-4 advantage, setting up good shot opportunities for Hickman to deal with.
Goalkeeper Claire Ferrell had a decent workload, facing 16 Rams’ shots, and saving nine of them.
As the statistics show, the Rams have a lot of room to grow as their season has just five crucial games left.
The Rams have a long break now to fix their play going forward, as they do not play again until April 9, when they host the University of Charleston for a 1 p.m. matchup.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org