The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

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 perseveres through weather, fatigue

Whether it’s rain or a tough four-game-a-week schedule, the Grinnell Women’s Soccer team has overcome obstacles and is slowly, but surely evolving into a better team. Last week, the Pioneers beat Monmouth in their first conference game, perhaps the most important game of the season so far.

Grinnell started the week with two losses and a tie. Last Saturday, they lost 0-1 to Dubuque. Though nine of the team’s 14 shots were on goal, they failed to score before the final whistle was blown.

“Every game we’ve played has been a team that we truly believe we could beat, so Dubuque was no different,” Cynthia Dominguez ’12 said. “At the end, it was just us not finishing the opportunities.”

The Pioneers then tied Coe 1-1 on Wednesday. Hannah Safter ’14 tied the game with an unassisted goal in the 76th minute that led to a scoreless overtime. Keeper Jordan Young ’14 saved five shots to hold the Kohwak.

The team then took its second half momentum to its next game against Monmouth. The Pioneers shut out the Fighting Scots 3-0.

The Pioneers finished the first half with goals from Dominguez, on an assist from Patty Murphy-Geiss ’14—and Sarah Jensen ’15, on an assist from Elle Silverman ’15.

Scoring continued in the second half as Murphy-Geiss added another goal in the 55th minute on a pass from Abby Jaeger ’14.

“The players were mentally and physically ready for the opening of league play,” said Head Coach Heather Benning. “We honored our system and were able to make in-game adjustments when [Monmouth seemed] to get the upper hand.”

The team’s offense continued their firepower in its next game against Central College on Sunday as Safter recorded her second goal of the season in just the second minute of the game. Playing the fourth game of the week, however, fatigue played a big part in the game as the Pioneers eventually lost the lead in the second half and finished the game 1-2.

“After we took an early lead, the level of play noticeably dropped,” Safter said. “We stopped doing things like winning 50/50 balls and playing to the feet of our teammates.”

Although the Pioneers had more shots on goal than all four opponents in each of their games, they were unable to come away with as many goals as they would have liked. The team believes scoring is a crucial part of its game that the players need to improve.

“Coming out of last season, where we had very few shots on goal, this year the team has collectively been striving to get in shooting range and keep the shots on target,” Safter said. “It is something we work on in practice every day and it is something that we will continue to place an emphasis on throughout the season.”

“We’re trying out different approaches in practices,” Dominguez added. “We do a lot of finishing drills, but it’s also about getting into drills where pressure is on you to finish and score.”

One upside that the Pioneers pride themselves is the team chemistry, despite having 10 first-year players joining the team.

“The team dynamic is great. Our team prides ourselves on how close we are year after year. Even with the large roster [of 31 players] this year, we made a strong effort right off the bat to ensure we kept the chemistry,” Young  said.

Benning believes the team’s depth will provide a spark for them this season.

“The depth of the team is going to be our greatest asset if the women continue to believe in what it is we are trying to do and own their role within the program,” Benning said. “When we have done this, we’ve played very well. We have excellent veteran leadership and our first years are making meaningful contributions.”

By working on their weaknesses and maintaining strong team chemistry, the Pioneers believe they can make great strides this season. The team has not had a winning season in conference or overall since the 2008 season.

The Pioneers will travel to Appleton, Wis. to face their second conference opponent in Lawrence University this Saturday and follow up with another away game against University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

“I believe we’re capable, if we play to our potential, of beating any team that’s on our schedule,” Dominguez said. “Last year, it was monumental for us to beat Carroll because they were the team to beat as they were undefeated in conference, so sky’s the limit.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *