The 2019 women’s soccer team was on a constant roller coaster towards the sky this season. With an undefeated record in the USA South Conference, they took home the championship and ended the season strong
“Someone has to win the NCAA national championship tournament, why not us,” said senior Shannon Reagan.
During the past two seasons, the team remained undefeated all season and came up just short of the championship. With a handful of seniors wanting that title, the team stepped up. When they came together at the start of the season, it was clear each individual had trained hard this summer in hopes of exceeding their past.
“We play for each other and no one else,” said junior Lexie Hill, explaining the team dynamic. Junior Alyssa Kral noted a change in the atmosphere of the team, as they now show incredible chemistry and trust in their teammates no matter the obstacles and difficulties the team faces.
“Sometimes the ball bounces your way, and sometimes it doesn’t,” said Coach Pepe Fernandez, regarding the semifinal and final games against Salem and Covenant. During these games, the girls team had the ball bouncing their way.
Each opposing team scored the first goal on themselves. Normally, the chances of that happening in such a high-stake game is highly improbable. The team’s efforts still showed when they crushed Salem 2 to 1 and stayed up 5 to 0 against Covenant.
The girls were ecstatic and sat in the win against Covenant for a good 24 hours before it was onto the next game and time to look forward.
“I am fully prepared to take down the number three team in the nation,” said sophomore Emilie Guigou, thinking about the regional game they played in on Saturday, Nov.16 beforehand. Traveling with this mindset to St. Louis, the team had the opportunity to show up and show out as the underdog of the match.
This season Coach Fernandez allowed for the girls to become adaptable to their opponent with new formations, something they had not fully grasped in previous years. The loss of junior Bailey Sipos who underwent surgery on her knee in preseason added pressure for junior Taylor Frizen to step into her position. She did an incredible job. With Frizen’s and Reagan’s speed, the ball was pushed smoother and quicker along with help from a strong, defensive and meticulous midfield.
Reagan respected that the team was able to “have a complacent mindset,” and she felt that they belonged in the finals and deserved to win the championship. Although they were not able to defeat Washington on Saturday, Nov. 16, they left the last game of the season with everything on the field—not the outcome they expected but a step in the right direction for next year’s season.
The seniors were ended their career with a bittersweet trip to St. Louis, Mo. Reagan was able to enjoy the game no matter the outcome and have fun during her last career game rather than putting herself through extra stress. She even rubbed off onto her fellow seniors, as they also gave it their all without over straining.
The team supported each other endlessly this season, and their strength pulled them through to the trophy. This was a season end that the seniors will hold onto fondly in memory, and the freshmen will certainly carry out the memory through to their senior year.