The University’s women’s soccer team has achieved heights that very few Royals teams have reached in team history.
The 2016 campaign for The University’s women’s soccer team got off to a hot start, and the team has kept their momentum going, having won 11 games straight, and having not lost since Sept. 6, leaving their current record at 13-1-1.
“I think that our team’s chemistry plays a huge part in how we’ve been performing,” said senior captain Carolyn Warner. “We’re really close on and off the field, so we know how each other plays.”
Warner is certainly correct about their team chemistry, as the team has been striding on all cylinders. Since their last loss to Swarthmore, they have outscored their opponents 36-8, including eight shutouts.
Consistent play at the goalie position is key for any team, and Krissy Welsh has been consistently great for the Royals. She has a .827 save percentage in 12 starts, but she doesn’t even think about the numbers.
“I try not to think too much about my save percentage or goals against average because it tends to just add more pressure while playing in games,” she said. “I go into each game thinking first that we need to win as a team and I just do my best to make the necessary saves so we can achieve that.”
You can be a great team, but no team is perfect. Junior captain Hannah DeMars said her biggest concern heading into the postseason, was the team’s ability to stay focused.
“I think we’re still looking to play a full 90 minutes of soccer,” DeMars said. “You can’t give any minutes up in these huge games we have against Catholic which is our rival, and if you let down for five or 10 minutes, they’ll score.”
In 14 games so far, it is safe to say the team has strung together enough quality minutes in games to dominate the opposition, but can they do it against postseason quality teams such as Catholic.
DeMars, in times of adversity, looks for perseverance out of her teammates.
“We’re not going to be up 4-0 every game, so it’s really important for me when I’m out on the field to get energy from other players. I want them to work hard and give everything they have.”
The team has certainly received the hard work and services of sophomore standout Jamie Hreniuk, who leads the team with nine goals on the season.
“It’s satisfying to know that my hard work throughout the season so far has been paying off, but it also wouldn’t be possible without the rest of our entire team’s effort. Every single person has been so determined to succeed this season and I think that’s what has made us successful so far,” Hreniuk said.
This is a driven and motivated team that is hungry for even more success this season. They have an opportunity to finish undefeated in conference play, which would definitely give them the edge going into the conference tournament, and also, just as equally important, the coveted No. 1 seed, which would mean home field advantage throughout the entire tournament. Even when the team is nationally ranked, they still recognize the bigger picture of simply winning games.
“It’s definitely huge because we haven’t been nationally ranked in a while. When we found out that day everyone was excited. It’s rewarding because we’ve worked so hard since preseason. We deserve to be nationally ranked; it’s about time,” said Warner.
As the regular season comes to an end, the team look to be even better in the postseason. It means a lot to this team, who has appeared in three straight conference finals, but has come up short each time.
With this team’s mixture of talent, team chemistry and determination, you can expect a lengthy postseason run.