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The Scarlet & Black

Women’s soccer looks toward Nationals

Christopher Hyunjin Lee
Carolyn Silverman ’17 scored the lone goal for the Pioneers against Ripon College last Saturday. Photo by John Brady.

Despite losing its regular season finale to Ripon College 2-1 last Saturday, the women’s soccer team clinched a berth in the Midwest Conference (MWC) Tournament for its fourth consecutive year. Grinnell finished the regular season with an overall record of 10-7-1, 6-3-1 in Conference.

The Pioneers entered last weekend’s game already having secured a spot in the tournament. The Ripon game was a good test for the Pioneers to see where they stood among their competition in the MWC tournament.

“We were very excited to get the chance to play Ripon, another team who clinched a spot in the tournament,” said Carolyn Silverman ’17. “Walking into the game against Ripon, we were really just looking to play the best soccer we could play.”

After allowing a goal in the 23rd minute, Grinnell entered halftime with a 1-1 tie, thanks to Silverman’s score at the 37th minute.

Carolyn Silverman ’17 scored the lone goal for the Pioneers against Ripon College last Saturday. Photo by John Brady.
Carolyn Silverman ’17 scored the lone goal for the Pioneers against Ripon College last Saturday. Photo by John Brady.

“My goal to tie the game was off of a corner, which is something we have worked on all season,” she said. “The ball bounced around in the box for a while and the opportunity came to me to put it in.”

Unfortunately, the Pioneers yielded a game-winner in the 85th minute to fall to the Red Hawks.

With the loss, Grinnell finished fourth in the standings, drawing first-place Lake Forest College in the semifinals. Although the Foresters are undefeated this season, Grinnell is confident about pulling an upset today.

“Lake Forest is undefeated this year but if anyone is going to beat them, we are,” said goalkeeper Katy Oldach ’16. “We came really close this season and every game for us has been close. Although we’re seated fourth in Conference, the first seat is up for anyone.”

According to Oldach, playing Grinnell-style soccer will be key to the team’s success.

“We have a very strong passing one-two touch game that when we play well, no team knows how to defend it,” Oldach said. “So I think if we … play our game, that’s all we need to win. Lake Forest has a very strong offense, but we have an incredible defense. Their defense is weaker than our offense, so if we exploit that we [can] win that game.”

Should the Pioneers defeat Lake Forest, they will play the winner of Ripon-Carroll University matchup in the final round. Having lost to both teams in the regular season, Grinnell can avenge its defeat on a bigger stage.

“Ripon is a very aggressive team,” Oldach said. “They’re a good team to play and they’re definitely on our level. They’re a team we can beat and both games have been close.”

The Pioneers have not brought home the MWC trophy since 2006, but they are confident that they can clinch the title this season.

“The ultimate goal is to beat Lake Forest in the first round, which I know we can do–hoping for a shutout there,” Oldach said, “and to play the winner of the Ripon and Carroll game, and I know we can beat those teams too. The Conference title is definitely in our hands this year, so if we win Conference, I know we can win the NCAA tournament so that’s the ultimate goal.”

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