By Laura Carroll
A slow start to the season, the NUIG Ladies Soccer team have started 2017 as they mean to go on.
Last week, the Ladies Soccer Club booked their place in the WSCAI League Cup semi-final as they beat a strong IT Sligo team 5-1. Losing 4-3 to IT Sligo last semester, the Galway Girls were not going to let this one slip, like Steven Gerrard. Having made the long journey up to the north of the province, the girls had a shaky start. They had goalkeeper Anesi Igumna and Erasmus student Tess Lohr to thank for saving the team from an early deficit after a brilliant goal line save.
Very soon, the away team were off the mark, with a brilliant solo goal from Michelle Doherty. She took the ball from a throw in on the halfway line and showed power, speed and skill to make it to the opposition’s box and round the ‘keeper. From then, NUIG kept tormenting the home team and it was only a matter of time before they got a second. American Erasmus student, Marley Duncan, showed great accuracy to lob a stranded IT ‘keeper after Duncan had been constantly threatening on the right wing. Doherty then brought her tally to two, with the squad keeping a clean sheet to get to halftime at 3-0.
A change of goalkeepers at halftime saw last year’s cup final hero Louise Creaven replace Igumna. The back four of Aoife Walsh, Shauna Fox, Ciara Lynagh and Laura Carroll were never really tested, and enjoyed free runs up and down the pitch. Wingers Chelsi Curran and Duncan were constant threats and kept Sligo’s fullbacks busy. In the centre of the pitch, Lohr and Doherty were winning every 50/50 and were key to the Galway Girls’ win. Alison McGonagle and captain Lisa Casserly kept the Sligo defence on their toes up top. Casserly deservedly got her goal, to add to her tally of three for the season. Off the bench, Shauna Gallagher, Samantha Taillon, Emma Horgan and Ciara Collins further strengthened the team, and made strong challenges for a starting place for a relegation match this week against UCD. Carroll got her first goal for the university after Casserly found her in the box and she rounded three players before letting loose at the Sligo goal into the top corner. A lapse of concentration saw IT Sligo pull one back with a well taken goal from outside the box by Una Higgins, to make it 5-1. Too little too late however, and NUIG held out until the end of the game to book a place in the semi final. An enjoyable watch for our travelling support of Eimear Foley, a veteran of the NUIG Ladies Soccer Club, who trekked it from across the road where she is on placement in Sligo University Hospital.
The girls will face UCC in a home semi final in the next coming weeks.
Team: Anesi Igumna, Aoife Walsh, Laura Carroll, Shauna Fox, Ciara Lynagh, Michelle Doherty, Marley Duncan, Tess Lohr, Lisa Casserly, Alison McGonagle, Chelsi Curran, Louise Creaven, Emma Horgan, Shauna Gallagher, Samantha Tallion, Ciara Collins.