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Feven Getachew
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Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm
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Women’s Soccer Season Comes to an End

The women’s soccer season came to an end on Saturday, Nov. 9 at the 2013 Midwest Conference Tournament. The fourth-seeded Grinnell team was matched against number one-seeded St. Norbert College in the first round, resulting in a 1-3 loss that sent the Pioneers home.

Grinnell’s single goal was scored by Patty Murphy-Geiss ’14 on a penalty kick in the 84th minute.  The goal was her eighth of the season, a team high.

The team only learned at the last minute that they had qualified for the tournament, which was held this year at St. Norbert in De Pere, Wis. The Grinnell women had faced St. Norbert already this season, losing 0-1 to them on Sunday, Oct. 27.

“We went in with a lot of preparation for St. Norbert. We had played them in our last regular season game, so we knew their style of play, we knew what we had to do, we prepared very well and we came out ready to play,” said Katy Oldach ’16, a goalkeeper on the team.

Going into the game, the women knew they faced tough competition, as St. Norbert is home to the leading scorer in all of Division III women’s soccer, Katie Vanden Avond. Heading into the game, the team elected to focus on their offensive skills.

“In the first game we played against them, we kept them out of the net more, but we didn’t really have chances [to score] ourselves,” said forward Eva Smith ’16.

In consideration of the positions as which St. Norbert’s was the strongest, Grinnell also experimented with different formations. One of their strategies was to place four players in the back to shut down Vanden Avond. Despite these efforts, Vanden Avond managed an impressive offensive effort, scoring all three of St. Norbert’s goals.

“It was obviously disappointing because we didn’t win. I think defensively we played well, but just a couple of mistakes … led to [St. Norbert] getting goals because they’re very good at scoring,” Smith said.

However, she notes that offensively the team played much better than before. The offense was able to attack the other team and follow through with their strategies.

Despite the loss, the team kept their head up and walked off the field knowing they gave it their all.

“Our team played an amazing game. I’m very proud of how we came out with confidence and how we didn’t give up the whole game,” Oldach said.

Overall, the season went well, with the team collecting 11 wins over 17 games.

“We had a lot of chemistry on the field. We played really well together,” Oldach said.

She also notes that every player stepped up tremendously for the benefit of the whole team. Flexibility was crucial, with each player willing to adapt to patch any weak spots the team had—particularly at defense, where Grinnell was especially low on players this season.

The players do acknowledge that there are certain areas that the team has to work on in order to play even better next year.

“We are looking to increase our goal score,” Oldach said, also mentioning that the team needs to focus on finishing in the top third for the conference next year.

Nonetheless, the team prides itself in its fitness. Oldach attributes the team’s strength to the fitness of each individual player. Every position worked diligently to keep fit throughout the entire season, enabling them to outlast other teams and eventually land a spot in Conference.

Despite losing seven seniors, the team is excited to see how they will perform next year. High hopes and expectations fill the hearts of the Grinnell’s women soccer team.

After winning conference and beating Grinnell in the tournament, St. Norbert went on to win the MWC Championship match against Monmouth College on Saturday, Nov. 9.

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