Despite their record, the Pointers Women’s Soccer team is looking to show everyone that there is a lot of fight in this young team.
With last year’s final record at 13-6-1 with a 5-3-0 in conference, the Pointers had a strong showing despite losing 1-0 in the WIAC Championship game to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.
With the departure of seven seniors from last year’s team, the Pointers have a new task at hand. Out of their 21 player roster, nine of those players are now freshman. In total, 15 underclassmen represent the Pointers soccer team.
There is no doubt that losing seven seniors affects the dynamics of the team. The majority of the departed seniors were forwards and midfielders.
There is a big difference in play from high school to college. The length of the transition at this level can make or break a season, depending on how fast freshman and transfer students can adapt to the faster style of play.
“They haven’t had the experience in the system that we play and so it’s definitely a big learning process,” said second year head coach Megan Schmidt.Despite the 0-4-2 record on the season thus far, the Pointers have had some hard fought games including the 1-5 loss against top ranked Wheaton College.
The opening schedule that the Pointers have to go through is a challenge for any team in Division-III soccer.
Coach Schmidt has also recognized the leadership in her only two seniors on the team, Kelsey Majerus and Carly Falk.
“You can tell who the seniors are when they are out at practice, not just verbally but physically,” Schmidt said. “They lead by example. They have been around long enough to have experienced the success of this team and have seen the team at its highest level.”
Falk and Majerus were a part of the 2010 team that made it to the Sweet Sixteen.
When asked about how the record affects the team’s outlook, Majerus said “Our 0-4 is going to look like we’re not doing that well but realistically; we’ve been improving a lot.”
Coach Schmidt and the Pointers feel confident heading into conference play because of the challenging teams they have already faced this season.
This year, the focus is heavily on defense and breaking down thedynamics of the game.
“If you don’t do the little things well, you’re not as successful as you can be,” Schmidt said. “Defense wins championships, offense wins games, and that’s our philosophy.”
They are working hard in practice in preparation for conference play. They open up conference play by traveling to play the UW-La Crosse on Sept. 25.
The Pointers host their first conference game on Oct. 5 against the UW-Eau Claire in a Play for the Cause game.
UWSP will close out the season playing the defending conference champions, the UW-Whitewater, athome on Nov.2. This could arguably be the biggest game left on the Pointers schedule.
“Tough competition is just fuel for the fire to get first in the conference. Every game is a learning experience,” Majerus said.“Our goal is to win first in conference.”
With the type of challenges that the Pointers have already faced, it can be expected that this team is ready to take on the conference at full speed. They have plenty of fight left in them, and the Pointers are set out to prove that records do not tell the entire story. With their sight aimed at the top spot in conference, the Pointers know that it is still theirs to win.
The Pointers won their first game of the season Wednesday, defeating Marian University 3-1.