With a young and depleted lineup, the Bethel College women’s soccer team was able to take it to Southwestern before falling 2-1 Wednesday in KCAC play at Thresher Stadium.

A defensive miscue for Bethel allowed Lauren Fleisher to score on an open netter in the 41st minute, which held up as the winning goal.

“We had some new players playing in there,” Bethel coach Alex Hagan said. “We had five starters out with injuries. At the end of the day, those things can’t happen, but I’m still proud of the girls. We had a ton of opportunities and the team played well. They just scored more than we did.”

Bethel was outshot 16-9, but shots on goal were even at six. Emily Sutton had five saves for Southwestern. Ashtyn Brown had four saves for Bethel.

Southwestern improves to 6-2, 2-0 in KCAC play.

Bethel drew first blood in the 14th minute when Alayna Wallace beat the Southwestern keeper for an open-net goal. Payton Walter had the assist.

Southwestern tied the game in the 29th minute on a hard blast by Hailey Rouse into the upper left corner on passes from Tiffany Butler and Fleischer.

Each team had several scoring chances early in the second half.

Jadin Kaltenbach had a point-blank header saved with 1:52 to play.

“We might have had less total shots overall, but our percentage of shots on target were high,” Hagan said. “All of our shots were quality. We did a good job of that. (The defense) had a new back line because of our injuries. Hopefully, they will continue to learn and grow.”

Bethel drops to 4-4-1, 0-2-1 in KCAC play, and host Sterling at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Sterling is 1-8, 0-3 in KCAC play, after a 1-0 loss to Tabor.

“We have to win that one,” Hagan said. “There’s no reason we can’t. (The time off) will be nice. Hopefully, we can get some players back that were dealing with some injuries. If we can be healthy and rested and get a win, it will be a big win for us.”

S-Western;2;0;—2

Bethel;1;0;—1

1. B Alayna Wallace (Payton Walters) 13:07

2. S Hailey Rouse (Tiffany Butler, Lauren Fleischer) 28:23

3. S Fleischer (unassisted) 40:38

Total shots — SC 11-5—16, BC 4-5—9. Shots on goal — SC 5-1—6, BC 2-4—6. Saves — SC: Emily Sutton (W) 1-4—5. BC: Ashtyn Brown (L) 3-1—4. Corner kicks — SC 9, BC 6. Fouls — SC 7, BC 10. Offside — SC 4, BC 0. Cautions — none.