Women’s soccer makes tournament after program worst season
Hunter Lyle – Sports Writer
As the 2018 season comes to an end, the players and coaches of Southern’s women’s soccer team celebrate their success and look back on previous seasons.
They capped off their 9-10 season, 8-6 in conference games, this year with an NE10 playoff berth. While the ending of the 2018 season may offer a bright look to the future, a chance to make it to the tournament was not always on the relative realm of possibilities.
Head coach Adam Cohen said the team just wanted to move on from last season, statistically the worst season since 1996, the oldest year on record.
“We just wanted to look forward at that point,” said Cohen. “You know, 2017 was a challenging year, so we were looking optimistic towards 2018.”
Last year, the women’s soccer team ended with a record of 2-12-3 and went 2-9-3 in the conference. Exercise science major, senior and team captain
Mikaela Magee said that the team’s previous season was tough mentally, physically and emotionally.
“I think that game to game, it was just hard mentally for the most part on people, and also if you look at it physically as well, we went into a lot of overtime,” said Magee. “So, I think as the season progressed, a lot of players were getting fatigued and tired and I think that started to take a role as well.”
The women were forced into five overtime games, four of them going into double overtime, and three of the double overtimes in a row.
In the offseason between 2017 and 2018, the team reeled in their play and focused on many habitual strategies that could help them progress for next season, said junior Kelly Lamb.
“This offseason everyone did a lot of personal growth together and we did a lot work as team,” said Lamb, “not even on the field but together and we made values as a team.”
Magee said the team especially focused on their mental toughness as well as team bonding.
“We actually did a lot of mental training for us. We did mindfulness training, we had one of the people from the school come in and she did a lot of training with us mentally, going in to things with the right mindset,” said Magee. “We had Sebastian, a former player from Yale football come in and was working with our mentality and how we should go about things and coming together as a team.”
Although the women’s soccer team started the 2018 season with two losses, they fired back with a three- game winning streak and improved later in the season with a five-game win streak to push their record to 8-3 and 7-1 in conference play.
“I think the key factor was how close we were as a team. I think that we all came together and once we all bought into the one goal of just doing your absolute best and striving to make the NE10 playoffs, which was our goal at the beginning of the year,” said Magee, “Once everyone bought into that and was completely committed to that, we were able to achieve what we wanted to achieve.”
At the end of the season, in the NE10 tournament, the Owls traveled to New Hampshire and faced the Penmen from Southern New Hampshire University. Against the number two seed in the conference, Southern was eventually beaten in double overtime by the score of 2-1.
“When I look back on this season, it was probably one of my favorite seasons out of my four years, just because we were so close as a team and every game we went out and fought together and had each other’s back,” said Magee. “Even in the playoff game, we had a good feeling to know that every person left it out on the field.”
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications