After a tough season in 2013, the women’s soccer team united and prepared to compete in 2014 for a conference championship.
Head coach Megan Schmidt feels great about the potential of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point team this year after a tough season.
“Last season I compared it to the Packers with a young team, we had injuries and played a lot of close 1-0 games that didn’t go our way,” Schmidt said. “ This past season gave the team motivation to work harder in the off season to make this team successful.”
Junior forward Jillian Ross agrees with her coach that the 2013 season was enough motivation for this year. “We all came in ready and in good shape looking to not have similar results from last season,” Ross said.
The Pointers opened the season with a tough schedule. They feel it shows they can compete and continue to progress as a team.
“The schedule is tough and there might come losses, but I think we learn more from playing tougher teams than beating bad teams 5-0,” Schmidt said.
After starting 0-2, UWSP beat St. Olaf 4-1 giving the team a much need confidence booster.
“St.Olaf is great competition, and this last game was nice to put goals in the net and get a huge weight lifted off our shoulders,” Schmidt said. “ The variety of goals was impressing and when you keep scoring those types of goals it gives you the confidence to take the risks scoring those goals.”
Ross led the team that game, tallying two of the four goals, but credits her teammates for her success. “We trusted our system, then connected and created opportunities with a lot of passing patterns in practice, and we clicked very well by breaking down their defense,” Ross said. “
The team feels they have a strong bond on and off the field.
“We all love each other, we are like sisters and best friends on and off the field,” Ross said. “It’s more than just a teammate to teammate relationship.”
The unity of the team is something Schmidt noticed this season.
“This team’s chemistry and respect for each other is greater than I have seen in years past,” Schmidt said. “They know each other very well, they know how to push each other, show everyone respect, and there’s always going to be someone there to help.”
Schmidt feels the tough competition will prepare the team for the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Schmidt wants the team to believe they can be the best in the WIAC.
“I will always pick us number one. We are not okay with being average, and I want the mindset for our team to be the best,” Schmidt said. “We are a tough team and that’s our tradition.”
The coaching staff has given the teammates the motivation to give it their all every time they go on the field.
“If they expect us to be number one we have to go out there and play like number one,” Ross said.