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The Scarlet & Black

Women’s soccer welcomes season with a win

Lauren Hurley ’18 battles Elle Silverman ’15 during practice. Photo credit Parker Van Nostrand

The women’s soccer team started its season successfully by defeating Simpson College 2-1 in double overtime last Friday.

The Pioneers started off their game strong, taking a 1-0 lead in the first half when Carolyn Silverman ’17 scored in the 39th minute on an assist by Nora Sahel ’17.

“I saw Nora Sahel was going to get the ball in the midfield, so I instinctively started a run to penetrate the defense,” Silverman said. “The timing on this is something we’ve been working on a lot during practice.  Nora played a perfect through ball to me on the ground, and once I was square with the keeper, it was just a matter of getting her to commit to a side and putting the ball the other way.” 

Lauren Hurley ’18 battles Elle Silverman ’15 during practice. Photo credit Parker Van Nostrand
Lauren Hurley ’18 battles Elle Silverman ’15 during practice. Photo credit Parker Van Nostrand

Despite having the lead for most of the competition, Grinnell let one goal slip past with just eight seconds remaining in the regulation, extending the game to sudden-death overtime. 

“During the game, I would say the biggest challenge was staying focused for as long as we did,” Silverman said. “The game time was at 7:30, which is way later than we’re used to. Playing until around 10:30 or 11 and staying focused the whole time was a huge challenge.”

No matter, in the 102nd minute, Dabney Hofammann ’15 scored the second and winning goal as she defeated a challenge from a charging keeper. The ball popped up and hit the net after brushing against her knee. 

“I think that most people were confused about what had happened because it was a pretty messy goal, and so there was a little hesitation in recognizing that we had actually won.” Hofammann said.

Nevertheless, after the referee blew his whistle, the Pioneers gathered around the field and celebrated their first win.

“We were so excited to see results of the hard work we’ve put in these past few weeks,” Silverman said. “Our team had so much heart and kept fighting for almost four hours. I think that is the most impressive thing to me.” 

With the addition of a new head coach, Kirsten Russell, the team had to make some adjustments from last season. However, according to some of the players, Russell has made a smooth transition and brings positive energy to the team.

“Coach Russell’s transition to the head coaching position has been seamless,” Hofammann said. “Her positivity and enthusiasm are infectious. The team is really happy and excited to be working with her and achieving some big things with her this season.” 

On top of the adjustments they had to make, the team is up-to-date with their practicing. The players arrived on campus weeks before the first day of school to prepare for the upcoming season.

“The first game of the year is rarely pretty, so we talked a lot about composure and work rate,” Russell said. “Our training was focused on fundamentals and finding through balls on the ground, which is how we scored our first goal.” 

With their strategies set down during the two weeks of intense summer practice and a victory against Simpson, the Pioneers remain positive about their upcoming season.

“I thought that the game went really well considering that … the team and our new coach are still getting to know one another,” Hofammann said. “We have a lot of work in front of us, but the team rose to the challenge and really played with a lot of heart. We started the season off on a positive note.”

Before facing its Midwest Conference foes in two weeks, Grinnell will travel to Minnesota this weekend to face Macalester College and Carleton College. 

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