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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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Women’s Soccer Splits First Two Games

By Max Mindock

After an overtime loss in the season opener against Cornell College on Thursday, Sept. 1, the Women’s soccer team bounced back with an exciting win in their home opener against Augsburg College last Saturday.

The Pioneers started strong with a 1-0 lead, but the Auggies retaliated and the first half ended in a tie. Grinnell took the lead again and ended up winning with a final score of 3-2.
Cynthia Dominguez ’12 started the scoring for Grinnell in the eighth minute from an assist by Morgan Sullivan ’15.

“Morgan … had a big cross to the far post and I was able to get a shot off and it went in,” Dominguez said.

Patty Murphy-Geiss ’14 scored the second Pioneer goal on a penalty kick in the 76th minute. Her second net goal came from an assist by Kathryn Vincent ’13 in the 86th minute, sealing the victory just 40 seconds after the Auggies had tied it 2-2.

This nail-biting win came after another exciting match against Cornell College last Thursday. Cornell scored the first goal in the tenth minute and it remained 1-0 until the 46th minute, when K. Vincent put one in the back of the net assisted by Rachael Koester ’13.  The score stayed at 1-1 for the rest of regulation time.  Cornell went on to win with a goal in the first minute of extra time.

“It would be wonderful to get two wins right off the bat but there is something valuable to be learned from the loss,” said Head Coach Heather Benning. “The fact that we came back and beat a stronger team on Saturday is big.”

The team seems optimistic about the season, and after the impressive win against Augsburg, they deserve to be.

“I think we’re looking really strong this year, Nicole Sipfle ’13 said. “We’re looking a lot stronger than we did last year, and even my first year.”
The team is led by captains Cynthia Dominguez ’12, Becca Carter ’12 and Nicole Sipfle ’13. Upperclassmen like these now have a new role, both on and off the field.

“I keep looking around me and realizing I’m one of the oldest people here. Every single time there has been someone to look up to but now it’s just us and we have to set the tone,” Dominguez said.
The off-season has prepared the team well.

“I think that there’s a lot of positive energy just going into the season because we all worked really hard for the past eight months just leading up to this and everybody is really excited to see how well we can do this season,” Sipfle said.

After graduating goalkeepers Laura McElroy ’11 and Ingrid Wennerberg ’11, the Pioneers will entrust the net to second year Jordan Young ’14.

“[Losing McElroy and Wennerberg] is an adjustment but Jordan Young, who is our starting goal keep was with the team last year and played four or five matches last year so the women are comfortable with her in the net,” Benning said.

Coach Benning believes in the potential of her 10 first-year athletes.

“We already have a trust in the players that they will step up and play their roles,” she said.

Notably, Benning expects M. Sullivan to be a big addition to the squad.

“I first saw [Sullivan] play before her junior year in high school and was very impressed by her level of play,” Benning said. “She’s definitely going to be someone that will be able to help us on the back line. She’s just a really tenacious defender.”

So far, Sullivan is just as impressed with Grinnell.

“Soccer is so much better here! Everyone is really nice and supportive and no one yells at you,” Sullivan said. “You can actually play to your potential because if you make a mistake people aren’t screaming down your throat.”

Before the season even started, the team identified three team goals. The first is to be one of the top two teams in the conference during the regular season. The second is to win the conference tournament.
The third is to have 75 percent of the team make academic conference.

“This team is really good, I can tell we’re going to go far,” Sullivan said.

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