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The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Soccer teams finish up at conference

Artis+Curiskis+%E2%80%9918+pushes+the+ball+upfield+in+the+mens+soccer+teams+remarkable+victory+over+Knox+College+in+last+weekends+conference+semifinal.+The+Pioneers+put+forth+an+incredible+effort+to+beat+Knoxs+regionally+ranked+squad.+Contributed+photo.
Artis Curiskis ’18 pushes the ball upfield in the men’s soccer team’s remarkable victory over Knox College in last weekend’s conference semifinal. The Pioneers put forth an incredible effort to beat Knox’s regionally ranked squad. Contributed photo.
Artis Curiskis ’18 pushes the ball upfield in the men’s soccer team’s remarkable victory over Knox College in last weekend’s conference semifinal. The Pioneers put forth an incredible effort to beat Knox’s regionally ranked squad. Contributed photo.

The men’s and women’s soccer teams both ended their seasons at the Midwest Conference Tournament last weekend. The women’s team battled with Knox College in the semifinals before falling 1-0. The men had a groundbreaking 3-2 win over the number one seeded and regionally-ranked team from Knox to advance to the finals before eventually falling to Lake Forest 2-0 in the finals.

The captains of the women’s team were proud of the team’s ability to fight through tough matches in the tournament and throughout their season.

“We seem to play best with our backs against the wall,” said women’s captain Lauren Hurley ’18. “We had to win out a lot of games at the end to make the tournament.”

Hurley referenced an earlier 2-3 loss to Cornell College that would have clinched the team’s spot in the tournament. According to Hurley, the women’s team’s subsequent win over Monmouth to make it to the tournament, “spoke to our perseverance throughout the year and the team’s ability to play well in difficult situations.”

Knox tested the team’s perseverance in the semifinals of the Midwest Conference tournament.

Reflecting on the match, Hurley said, “Everyone put everything into it.” Captain Annika Helverson ’18 agreed and added, “It was a really evenly-matched game, and it could have gone our way.”

The men’s team captains and coach echoed Hurley’s and Helverson’s messages of perseverance regarding their tournament play. The men faced adversity early in their semifinal match when a Grinnell player received a red card and was ejected from the game, leaving the Pioneers down a man and a goal after Knox’s successful penalty kick. The Pioneers embraced their circumstances, however, and rallied to get back in the game with another goal.

“We began to chirp and try to breathe life back into our team. We were never negative. And then we got one,” said coach Brian Jaworski.

The Pioneers celebrated a scrappy overtime win, their first over Knox in four years.

“We just dug deep. We just refused to lose,” Jaworski said.

Zach Thal ’18 echoed Jaworski’s sentiment, saying, “If we play Knox a million more times after going down 1-0 in the third minute with 10 men, we will lose 99.9 percent of those games, so to win the way we did was ridiculous.”

Captain Francisco Sanchez-Conde ’18 agreed.

“I think that was the most emotionally and physically rewarding game I’ve ever played in.”

The men eventually fell to Lake Forest in the finals, with a score of 2-0.

“It was day two. We had spent a lot of energy. Lake Forest was ready and fought with the same spirit that we had against Knox,” Jaworski said.

As their seasons have drawn to a close, the captains of the men’s and women’s soccer teams look forward to the future after fulfilling the expectation that both teams would make it to and perform well at the Midwest Conference Tournament.

“One team can’t continue what the other team did from the season before, but they can continue the winning culture that we’ve hopefully set up in the last two years,” said men’s captain Antonio DiMarco ’18.

“I think next year is going to be a really strong year again for our program,” Helverson added. “In the history of Grinnell, our team is typically very strong.”

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