CLINTON, Iowa - The Ashford University women's soccer team fell victim to a great individual performance in their 2011 regular season opener, as the fell to the Missouri Valley Vikings, 3-2 on Saturday.
The Vikings got all three goals from Breann Kinworthy and a pair of helpers from Henny Yngve to knock off the Saints, who were under fire on defense for much of the contest.
"It was disappointing," said Saints Head Coach Mick Regan. "You never want to start the season off with a loss, but they were good. Offensively they were very good and we didn't shut them down and we gave them too much space and that gave us problems."
"We've got some work to do," he added. "Defensively we gave them too much time, but when we attacked we were good. We've just got to keep plugging along and we'll be fine."
Kinworthy started her scoring barrage by sneaking a shot in off the left post and past goalkeeper Jerika Castillo of Iowa City, in the ninth minute to put the Vikings on top.
The Saints got on the board in the 34th minute, as Chelsea Fisher of Calgary, Alberta buried her first goal of the season off a feed from Hollie Babut, of Oshawa, Ontario.
The Saints would take the lead in the 50th minute, as Michele Safatle of Sao Paulo, Brazil, converted on a rebound from Fisher's free kick to put the Saints in front early in the second half.
The Vikings would answer quickly, as Kinworthy took a feed from Yngve and fired a shot past Castillo to tie the game in the 55th minute.
Kinworthy closed out the scoring with a goal in the 63rd minute on a feed from Yesica Hernandez, beating Castillo to the far side.
Castillo (0-1) kept the Saints in the game, finishing with 10 saves, while the Vikings' Nikki Goad (1-0) finished with four.
"I though Jerika played very well," said Regan. "The score could have been worse, but she kept things close, especially early on. We let some things through, but she kept us in the game. I was very happy with how she performed under attack for much of the game."
The Saints now prepare to head out on the road to face a pair of ranked opponents in 22nd-ranked Trinity Christian College and eighth-ranked Robert Morris University. Regan knows that in order for the Saints to succeed against the MCC, these next contests will be huge.
"We've got a tough task in front of us playing a couple of ranked teams in the next few weeks," said Regan. "But that's what we want. I'd rather lose 3-2 to a tough team than blow out an average team. We don't have much time to get ready, but I think we'll be better in the next one."
The Saints will face off against Trinity Christian on Tuesday, August 30 at 3:00 pm.