Olivet-Nazarene soccer opens some eyes just before national tournament
If October is any indication, the rest of the nation better watch out for the Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) women’s soccer team.
The Tigers went undefeated last month to finish the regular season at 12-5-1.
Head coach Bill Bahr told the Kankakee Times that the team performed well all year but finished the regular season especially strong.
“I’m very excited about the way the season went for us,” Bahr said. “The girls really came around, and I feel like we’re playing some of our best soccer at the end of the season.”
The Tigers opened October with a 3-2 win against Trinity Christian College. ONU struck early, taking the lead in the 11th minute off a Taylre Devine free kick. TCC equalized at the 29-minute mark thanks to a goal by Lexxy Trujillo. Both teams scored again before halftime. ONU’s Sarah Buffum then scored the only goal of the second half to seal the win for the Tigers.
ONU went on to win its next four matches by a combined score of 23-1. The Tigers claimed a 3-0 win against Calumet College of St. Joseph with goals by Emily Hulliberger, Sarah Buda and Andrea Rose. Then the Tigers put seven goals past in-state rival Saint Xavier University. Buffum scored a first-half hat trick and added a fourth goal in the second.
The Tigers knocked off Cardinal Stritch University, 3-1, thanks to goals by Hulliberger, Alyssa Snodsmith and Hannah Ondrey, then blew out Holy Cross College, 10-0. The Tigers also recorded wins against Saint Ambrose University and Trinity International University.
Bahr said that while several players have been key over the years, one has stood out.
“There are a handful of players who have done well this year,” Bahr said. “But Hannah Ondrey is one of our senior midfielders and is our leading goal scorer right now. She’s scored in several key conference games for us.”
Ondrey has scored eight goals and contributed three assists this season.
The conference tournament got underway with ONU defeating St. Francis 4-0. Buffum scored a pair of goals, andTess Marcordes and Lauren Harrigan scored the other two.
The conference tournament concludes on Nov. 18, and while ONU will likely get a berth in the national championship no matter what, Bahr said winning the tournament would be a big plus.
“If we can win our conference tournament, it’s going to help us get a better seed in the tournament,” Bahr said. "We would love to win the regular season title and the conference championship.”
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