Soccer Battles for Slot in Conference Tournament
Soccer team celebrates a goal. Photo by Jack McLaughlin.

Soccer Battles for Slot in Conference Tournament

The next three games will be crucial for the women’s Pointer soccer team as they attempt to secure a spot in the conference tournament.

“The next two weeks will be really interesting,” said head coach Megan Schmidt.

Soccer team huddles before the game. Photo by Jack McLaughlin.

Soccer team huddles before the game. Photo by Jack McLaughlin.

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point soccer team is currently 7-7-1. The team is tied for third with UW-River Falls and UW-Stout.

The Pointers will face both teams and second place UW-Oshkosh as their regular season draws to a close.

“We have three big conference games coming up, and we’re all battling for a position in the conference tournament,” Schmidt said. “There are only two teams in it for sure at this point.”

The top six teams in the conference participate in the tournament and the winning team moves on to the national tournament. The Pointers have improved from last year and put themselves in the position to participate this year.

“We have come a long way from last year and are working together a lot better as a team,” senior outside back Shelley Samuel said.

Sarah Vitale, senior midfielder. Photo by Jack McLaughlin.

Sarah Vitale, senior midfielder. Photo by Jack McLaughlin.

The Pointers have a competitive schedule this year. They took on Wheaton College, a team ranked third in the nation, early this season.

“That was a fantastic game because we understood how good we could be,” Schmidt said. “We refer to it as our best lost ever.”

Samuel mentioned a few things that may contribute to the team’s success.

“We have a lot more confidence and trust in each other and we also have depth off the bench,” Samuel said.

One goal Schmidt has for the team is to improve from last year. She has seen this along with other good things.

“We keep improving and we haven’t plateaued,” Schmidt said. “The players are looking to make conscious decisions with the ball and are building the attack.”

Along with this improvement, the Pointers have implemented a new system and have started playing with better ball control.

“We play to feet more than in the past so we have better ball possession and the players are perfecting their position and understand the other positions,” Schmidt said.

Carli Demski, freshman and defensive midfielder. Photo by Jack McLaughlin.

Carli Demski, freshman and defensive midfielder. Photo by Jack McLaughlin.

Samuel also has some personal goals to help better the team.

“I want to stay healthy. I’ve had a few injuries in the past, and I’m getting back into the swing of things,” Samuel said. “I want the defensive line to get as many shut outs as possible and to have fun.”

There have been a few players doing well this season. Schmidt wants them to receive recognition for their hard work.

“We have awesome players on the team that weren’t recognized in the past, but should be and I want to put them in situations where they will be super successful,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt mentioned Samuel along with Corey Reid, Sarah Meylor, Jillian Ross and Emily Dietrich.

Samuel said Meylor is dependable and plays both offensively and defensively. She also recognized Morgan Voigt.

“She’s our back up goalkeeper, but she came off the bench and she’s been doing so well we don’t even worry,” Samuel said.

Nov. 1 the Pointers play UW-Stout in their last nonconference game of the season. Samuel encouraged support for that game and other tough conference games that would aid in solidifying a tournament appearance.

“We’d love to have more fans especially in our last few games,” Samuel said.

 

Rebecca Vosters
Reporter
rvost360@uwsp.edu

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