Despite losing the last game of the regular season to Seattle University 1-0, the Wolverines have clinched the number one seed in the United Soccer Conference tournament and are ready to defend their title as conference champions.
Last Monday the Wolverines gave up a goal to non-conference SU late in the second half. “It was disappointing,” says coach Brent Anderson, “but our focus is now on the tournament. That’s all that really matters now.”
Playing four games in eight days took a toll on the team according to Anderson. “It was hard to match SU’s energy. You could see the fatigue of playing four games in eight days, but I thought our team played very well.”
Also, key forward Katey Turner decided not to play due to an injured knee she hurt against Longwood. “Katey adds so much to the team,” said senior Jenni Clough. “I sent a text message to Katey before the game and told her we need her for the tournament, so rest up this game.”
Last year a 6-13-1 record didn’t stop the Wolverines from coming out on top as conference champions, so this year’s record of 10-6-1 speaks volumes of their chances at another title. This team has more experience, better freshmen, and is closer as a team than last year, says goalie Mallory Schott.
Before playing SU, the Wolverines played Longwood on Oct. 25, winning 3-0. Turner, Camille Broderick, and Jennifer Lohner all scored to secure the home win.
The Wolverines ended the season by impressively outscoring their conference opponents 15-1. Beating Longwood meant a lot for the team, as it was the first time in school history for the team to reach 10 wins in a season and for the team to hold a perfect 5-0-conference record.
The Wolverines now play New Jersey Institute of Technology in the opening round in Longwood, Virginia.
“NJIT is a very competitive team,” Anderson said. “They’ve got some good athletes and they’re well coached. We’ve got to put a good game together to come out and beat them. The girls are very excited for this tournament and for the chance to prove themselves.”
“We have a championship to defend,” Schott said. “Other teams are going to come out and play us hard. We know that coming in, so we are prepared.”