By Sam Stevenson, Saint Reporter
Photo courtesy of aqsaints.com
The end of October means the end of fall sports and the shift into winter activities. For many fall Aquinas College programs, this time marks the beginning of the playoffs. One team in particular, the women’s soccer team, has been very successful this season and is looking to continue their skills in win or go home games: the playoffs.
Women’s soccer ended their regular season with a 13-4-1 record and a 9-1-1 record in
conference play. The team is ranked second overall and will face off against Cornerstone this Wednesday for a chance to move on to the National Tournament.
Being this successful was no easy task. Just like any other teams, the women’s soccer team faced many obstacles. Head coach Lewis Robinson addressed one of the bigger challenges his new look team had.
“A challenge would be that we brought in so many new players to integrate into the programs this year. We brought 26 freshman and transfers into our team to create a roster of 37 so it was difficult getting everyone close together and to become a tight team that supports each other. But as the year has gone on and the girls have faced adversity and different challenges they have really improved in this area and that has resulted in some great results.”
The focus now for the team is their playoff run. Junior Olivia Borgdorff, a captain on the team, addressed the mindset of the team as the regular season dwindled to a close.
“Mentally going into playoffs is all in because it’s win or go home at this point. We’ve put the work in and we have the talent and the depth. We’re ready. The only one who can stop us is us!”
As Coach Robinson had mentioned earlier, the team recruited 26 new players onto the team. With a younger core of athletes, teams can often have issues early on with players transitioning from high school to collegiate level of play.
“The transition between high school and college soccer was tough at first, at least for me” said freshman America Lemus. “College soccer requires much more dedication and intensity. But once you adjust, it’s honestly a much better experience than high school. Getting to play at a very high level and alongside best friends makes college soccer more enjoyable. The tough transition was certainly worth it.”
By combining strong leadership, a young group of talented players, and a well-organized
coaching staff, the women’s team is ready to turn heads and keep their successful season rolling right through playoffs.