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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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

Women’s soccer find win column, regain confidence

After starting off the season with a strong win over Central College, the Grinnell Women’s Soccer team faced a string of disappointments before again achieving two victories this past weekend. The team travelled to Illinois, where, on Saturday, they regained their ground by defeating Knox College with a score of 3-1. The next day the players triumphed again, this time over Illinois College in a 2-1 game.

The Knox game featured two goals by Patty Murphy-Geiss ’14 and one from Hannah Safter ’14. Along with Cynthia Dominguez ’12, Murphy-Geiss also scored in Sunday’s game, bringing her season total to a team high of six goals.

“Against Knox, we had some really perfect balls sent through.” Murphy-Geiss said. “They set up one-vs.-ones with the keeper, which was fun.”

Laura McElroy ’11, one of the team’s captains, was very pleased with the recent level of play.
“Those were [some of] our first conference games, so it was nice to come away with a pair of wins.” McElroy said.

Last Thursday, Grinnell fell to Monmouth College in overtime, so the team’s record is now 2-1 in Midwest Conference play.

Earlier this fall, the women played six games with schools not in the conference. Head Coach Heather Benning was impressed by those early games, though most were losses.

“We played well [against] some regionally ranked teams,” Benning said. “We went into double overtime with Oshkosh, and we were tied with Dubuque until the last five minutes.”

The Pioneers now have an overall record of 3-6.

While these early games were difficult, they allowed for the team to learn to play together. This year’s squad is fairly young, featuring six first-years and one transfer student. McElroy emphasizes that the team is solid in all areas.

“One of our strengths is our depth,” McElroy said. “We can put subs in and make a difference in the game.”

The Pioneers are trying a new system of play this year, involving using just one forward, and a zone defense as opposed to man-to-man.

“Coming into this season, looking at where our strengths were, it made sense to change formation so we could get the right people on the field together.” Coach Benning said.

While team spirit may have dipped slightly as the initial excitement of a new season faded, these recent wins have pumped the players back up to their original state.

“[Tuesday] at practice, it was exactly what we experienced in August. The team found that energy.” Benning said. “We have to figure out how to play at that level of soccer, which we’ve shown we can do. I feel like we could surprise some teams in the league. Pretty much from here on out, the teams on our schedule are must-win games for us.”

This Family Weekend, the team will be showcasing their talents on our own Springer Field with one game each day. On Saturday, Grinnell hosts St. Norbert College at 11:00 a.m., and Lawrence University at the same time on Sunday.

“Playing those tough games [earlier] got us ready,” McElroy said. “I think we can go into this weekend expecting to come out with a pair of wins.”

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