The Huntington women’s soccer team didn’t get off on the right foot to start the year so far. In non-conference play, the Foresters are 3-6, losing a few close games. The team has had to travel a little, facing all five road games outside the state of Indiana in Michigan and Ohio. Not only are the road trips a little long, but the competition is seemingly stiffer.
“Our pre-conference games this year have been more challenging than years past,” senior midfielder Matea Knispel said, “but I think that will prepare us well for the conference play coming up!”
The schedule won’t get much easier. Huntington will have to travel to Grace (7-1) and host Indiana Wesleyan (5-1), which has national receiving votes, along with three nationally ranked teams. Taylor is ranked number 23, Marian at 12, and defending national champion Spring Arbor at number 1. Looking for a big crowd, the Foresters will take on IWU on September 29 at 4:00 p.m. For schedule information about home matches and updates, check out huathletics.com.
A turn around is very much possible, though, since all teams have not started conference games. A few quick wins could be vital to the team’s success for the rest of the year. Hard work could be paying off, and as the freshman start to settle in, they could be a huge contribution to the team’s future success.
“Collegiate soccer is a completely different level of play in comparison to high school,” freshman Sylvia Harris said. “The speed of the game is much faster, the girls are much stronger, and the overall skillset is much higher.”
The team reeled in 12 freshmen this year, so there is a lot of learning to do considering the pace of play, and they are working hard to catch up. Bringing in so many Freshman can seem like a lot of work for captains and coaches, but that doesn’t seem to be the issue on this team.
“Our team has excellent chemistry,” said Knispel, who is a senior captain for the team and a recipient of a national honorable mention from the NAIA. “We have worked to maintain a sisterhood that emphasized trust, support, and encouragement as we all do life together!”