The women’s soccer team started the season with a perfect 5-0 start, their best since 1997. Following the undefeated start, they lost two and tied two games and had a record of 5-2-2 before entering conference play.In their opening conference game, the women traveled to Huntington University where they lost 2-0. Both goals for Huntington were scored within a span of 62 seconds. After Wednesday’s 5-0 loss to Marian University, the women’s current record is 5-4-2 on the season.
The women’s soccer team faces tough competition in the Crossroads League. Three of the 10 teams are nationally ranked in the NAIA women’s soccer coaches’ poll. Spring Arbor University is ranked No. 2 and won the NAIA national championship last year. Marian University is No. 4 and Indiana Wesleyan University is No. 11. While not ranked, Taylor University also received votes in the poll.
The team spent the month of August living together in the Miller residence hall, building camaraderie before the season. Klara Ebert, a senior midfielder, said that even though “we got a lot of transfers this year … we are even closer [to each other] than last year’s team.” Ebert said that the time before the season allowed her teammates to grow close and create a culture that feels like “family.”
Mackenzie Mast, a sophomore defender, had similar thoughts about the team’s culture. “We had good returners come back and new people join the team,” she said. “We all learned [about] each other and became a family.”
Mast has found success in “controlling what we can do … and what our strengths are.”
Mast also shared they watch a lot of film in preparation for games, as well as talking with their coaches to help them prepare.
Ebert said she hopes to accomplish “a better record than last year.” Coming off a 5-12-1 record last year, the team needs only one more win to eclipse that total.
Mast said that the team “started the year off strong with a lot of energy, [and] we are going to continue that [energy] entering conference play.”