Soccer moms go down memory lane


Nicole Girgen

Junior forward Darian Molter gets ready to kick the ball down field at Sunday’s game against Minot State University at Altra Credit Federal Union Stadium.

Sydney Mohr, Features Editor

It is easy to follow a soccer team by watching games and checking scores online to see if they win or lose. It is easy to watch the women on the field run and play, but more difficult to know their stories. What were their lives like before college, and what influenced them to become a  Warrior?

Sunday, Oct. 15, the Winona State University women’s soccer team took to the Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium to play against Minot State University. Before the game, the parents of some of the soccer players tailgated in 50 degree weather, sipping their drinks and reminiscing on the beginning of their daughters’ soccer journeys.

“She was about five years old,” Sandy Molter, the mother of senior forward Darian Molter, said.  “Whenever she would play, she would just run alongside whoever had the ball and smile the biggest smile.”

Molter is from Marshfield, Wisconsin and decided on attending Winona State because it wasn’t too far from home, and she thought the campus was beautiful.

“She started at about the age of four, playing peewee soccer,” Wendi Sabinash, the mother of senior midfielder Mikaella Sabinash, said. “She used to run in the opposite direction of the ball and sit in the middle of the field picking dandelions.”

Sabinash said her daughter had been planning on going to Madison, but she loved the coaches at Winona State.

“The coach at that time actually drove the four hours to our hometown, Thiensville, Wisconsin, to watch her play high school soccer,” Sabinash said.

When Sabinash started her first year, the head soccer coach was Ali Omar. Omar was the official who moved Winona State women’s soccer from club to varsity, and coached until spring of 2017 when he retired. The position of soccer coach was then turned into a full-time paid position. Dustin Beckman is the current coach of the women’s team.

“Mikaella liked Omar’s level of intensity for the game and his tough resilience,” Sabinash said. “She misses that for sure.”

Sabinash also said that her daughter’s soccer career has left many positive impacts on her.

“Of course, there are ups and downs to any sporting experience, but overall I think that being a part of the soccer program at Winona State has left a positive influence on Mikaella,” she said. “It has taught her how to work as a part of the team, and work with a wide variety of people and how to adapt to that. She’s going off to grad school to study in dentistry, and I believe that the lessons she has learned on and off the field will help her throughout the rest of her life.”

Nicole Girgen
Senior midfielder Mikaella Sabinash passes the ball to a teammate at Sunday’s game against Minot State University in Altra Credit Federal Union Stadium.

Sabinash and the Molters agree there has been a friendlier atmosphere between the seniors and the first-years now than when their daughters first started playing four years ago.

“The seniors and upperclassmen are extremely inviting to the incoming girls, and try to make them comfortable with the transition from high school to college. Student athletes at Winona State are their own family,” Sabinash said. “They all bond together, they support each other by going to games, it’s amazing. Everything from basketball to volleyball. They all do such a great job of supporting one another.”

The parents added how much they were going to miss going to soccer games, and how families and athletes alike tend to immediately bond through a love of soccer, and their girls.

“Soccer families, I’m telling you. They’re one of a kind. It doesn’t get better than this,” Jeff Molter, Darian Molter’s dad said.

The Warriors ended up losing the game 1-4, following a 2-1 win against the University of Mary on Saturday, Oct. 14.

They will be playing against Northern State University in Aberdeen, Minnesota on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 12 p.m. and against Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minnesota on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m.