The Knox College women’s soccer team had a strong season with 12 wins, 5 losses and one tie. While this is an incredible record, the team agrees they had a tough start.
“Our season started bumpy but as a team we figured out how to play to the best of our abilities and confront our challengers our way,” junior Annie Gerdes said.
“This season has been full of growth for each of us. The team has unfortunately suffered many injuries, but this has led to many players to step into roles they had never filled before,” sophomore Cayne Randle said. “We have also had to cope with more losses due to a much more difficult schedule, but these losses have helped to improve us far more than any blowout win could.”
The leadership on the field was also something the team could agree on.
“While no one graduated last year, we are a very different team. At our best, we are a better team than last year.” Randle said, “Our leadership has been phenomenal. Our seniors set an incredible example for the team. Each of them have great work ethic on and off the field. Many players besides the seniors have also stepped up in various ways from picking up after practice to sprinting their tails off during fitness.”
Another take on leadership comes from one of the captains, senior Alyssa Stepanian.
“The leadership on the team is pretty strong. There are three captains on the team: Jac, Angie and I, that make sure everyone is on track and is ready for practices and games. We want to make sure the team can come to us whenever they feel they need to and are comfortable with us as their leaders. Many girls are starting to step up and play leadership roles. This is good to see because next year all three of us will graduate,” Stepanian said.
The girls also attribute their success to being a tight-knit team.
“After spending so much time with each other we are basically one big family,” Randle said. “We will roast each other until we are charred but if anyone else did anything to hurt one of us, we’d have each other’s back in a heartbeat.”
“Many of us are in classes together or have taken the class previously and help one another while on trips or even at home,” Stepanian said.
The goals for the season are to host the conference tournament.
“The goals of the season are to take each game one at a time. Many people focus on the big picture but this year we have kinda looked at each game as its own battle,” Stepanian said. “The ultimate goal is to make it to the conference tournament and then hopefully go to the national tournament. But first we need to work hard and push through each and every game to be able to obtain that ultimate goal.”
Randle believes the goals are a bit different, but still connect to the team’s idea of success.
“I believe our main goals were to grow as a team as well as to adapt to a new system and to the new coaching staff,” Randle said. “Our goal for the rest of the season is to consistently play our best.”
The program has a real possibility of hosting the conference tournament. They will play St. Norbert away on Nov. 28 at 11 a.m.