Sports / The Prairie Fire / September 29, 2010

Women’s soccer winning streak halted at four

This weekend the Knox women’s soccer team suffered two losses against Grinnell College and Cornell College. The team lost to Grinnell 3-1 and to Cornell 3-2 in overtime. Though the women’s team was disheartened by the weekend’s outcome, the girls are now prepared to face upcoming challenges better than ever before.

Team members junior Emma Swanson and freshman Brynn Cole agree that the only disappointing aspect of the game against Grinnell was the final score. Swanson said, “We had a couple lapses and Grinnell was able to take advantage of those but overall I think that as a team we played one of our best games so far this season.”

Cole is confident in the team’s ability too and said, “Previously…there were greater differences in the level of play between the teams, but [that’s not] true anymore.”

In the game against Cornell, Cole commented on several factors that impeded Knox’s success, including questionable referee calls and multiple injured team members. According to Swanson, one of the referee’s calls allowed Cornell a penalty kick, jump-starting Cornell’s overtaking Knox’s 2-0 lead.

This was the team’s first double-header weekend of the season. It is easy to assume the team was not quite up to par when playing back-to-back games. While Swanson admits the team is fairly small, she said each member contributes unique qualities to the team. She added, “This is one of the best teams Knox soccer has had for a while.”

While Knox’s game-playing quality has improved significantly from past seasons, there are still improvements that need to be made.

“I think a thing with our team that we are always trying to work on is staying focused for the entire 90 minutes,” Swanson said. “It only takes one lapse in concentration, maybe because we’re tired, and then all of sudden we’ve let one of our marks run by us and it’s a goal.”

Both players are optimistic overall and have high expectations for the team’s next double-header on Oct. 2 and 3. Swanson says the past weekend has only increased the players’ desire to be competitive, especially since the team is in a perfect position to do so—an opportunity the team hasn’t seen for quite a while.

“[This experience] has allowed us to set a style and tempo of play that suits our game,” Cole said.

Cole and Swanson had concluding remarks.

“What we need now is to use both the Grinnell and Cornell games as motivation and a learning experience to see that we can hang in and put up our own fight in any game, no matter what school [we face],” Cole said.

“I hope we can keep that kind of intense, creative and passionate play up for the rest of our conference games and reap hefty dividends,” Swanson said.

Next weekend, the team will host two home games against Lawrence University and St. Norbert College. The game on Oct. 3 will be a “Think Pink” fundraiser to benefit breast cancer research.

Allison Bader

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