After going 1-0-1 in their last two contests, the Missouri State women’s soccer team faced a strong opponent in Illinois State, who sits just above the Bears in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.

The game started off on a good note for the Bears — they were the aggressors early and spent a lot of time on ISU’s final third. 

“We’ve been working a lot on being confident in what we’re doing and taking our shots when we have them,” senior forward Ashley Coonfield said. “We’re just working on getting more shots off and being aggressive at the goal.”

The Bears had several chances to score in the first half, but none landed in the back of the net.

“We had one that was saved off the line — we had the goalkeeper dead to rights ― she kick saved one — I think,” head coach Rob Brewer said. “That’s just soccer, and sometimes the soccer gods don’t let you score.”

ISU was able to do something MSU couldn’t, and that was score, as they found the net in the 64th minute, courtesy of MVC goal leader Kate Del Fava. The Redbirds were also able to outshoot the Bears 12-3 in the second half. 

Despite being outshot by nine shots in the second half, the Bears managed to only give up that single score, with redshirt junior goalkeeper Kaitlin Maxwell recorded five saves. 

“It’s just about being a very calm and confident presence back there,”  Maxwell said. “When I am making saves back-to-back, it’s good to try and get the ball up high, so we can get some possession.”

With only one regular season game left, the Bears have got to get a win going into MVC tournament play. 

“It’s no different than any other game in the conference,” Brewer said. “We’re gonna go there, and we’re gonna try to get three points.”

“The mindsets pretty much do or die,” Coonfield said. “We know that every game we have from now on we have to win.”

The Bears play Indiana State on Thursday, Oct. 31, for their last regular season contest before the MVC tournament kicks off on Nov. 3.