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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Women’s soccer preps final match

Morgan Sullivan ’15 and the team’s defense have been the key to the team’s success in season. Photo by Chris Lee.

The women’s soccer team has reached a critical point in the season when it is hoping to secure a high place in the standings to qualify for the Midwest Conference (MWC) Tournament. And so far, the Pioneers have succeeded.

Grinnell notched seven Conference points since fall break, defeating Lawrence University 2-0 and finishing in a scoreless tie against St. Norbert College two weekends ago, and then beating Monmouth College 1-0.

The team’s defense, which recorded eight shutouts in the last nine wins, including the last seven, has been key to the Pioneers’ success.

“We’ve always been a strong defensive team,” said Morgan Sullivan ’15. “The forwards and the midfielders really help out and we’ve gotten better with communication on the field this season, so I think that also contributed.”

The team’s clutch play to bring a victory for the fourth-years against Lawrence on Senior Day made the shutout even more special.

“It was definitely emotional because the seniors were playing one of their last home games,” said Kristen Stacey ’16. “There was definitely a little bit more pressure because we wanted to give the seniors [a] win on the home field.”

Morgan Sullivan ’15 and the team’s defense have been the key to the team’s success in season.  Photo by Chris Lee.
Morgan Sullivan ’15 and the team’s defense have been the key to the team’s success in season. Photo by Chris Lee.

The game against St. Norbert on the following day did not prove to be as satisfying. Ultimately going overtime, the last home match ended in a scoreless tie.

“At least for the seniors, we really wanted to have a good performance [in the] last game on the home field,” Sullivan said. “And while we didn’t necessarily win, I thought we showed some of our best soccer … I wanted to go in and have a good memory of that field.”

The following weekend, Stacey’s goal in the 53rd minute against Monmouth proved to be the game-winner.

“[Elle Silverman ’15] took the corner kick and corner kicks are always kind of crazy,” Stacey said. “So I kind of popped over all of that. It’s rare that you got a shot out of a corner kick. So I swung and it rebounded over a couple players and then it ended up in the goal.”

In what could potentially secure a berth in the Conference Tournament, the squad will face Ripon College in Wisconsin tomorrow.

Grinnell currently sits in third place, two points ahead of fourth place Carroll University. A victory against Ripon would clinch a spot in the Conference tournment.

The players are anxiously waiting to see its season-long practices pay off in the final game.

“Compared to last year, we lost a couple games we should have won,” Stacey said. “We have a little leeway even if we do lose this game. We can potentially still make it in.”

While it may not be a must-win game, the team does not want to leave any doubt.

“The mindset is that we have to win,” Sullivan said. “That’s what we’re going in for right now … I honestly think we’re ready and we can easily win this game and I think we know that.”

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