Soccer looks to utilize depth in 2019


Archived Photo

Mackenzie Challoner paces Maxwell Filed during a home meet. Challoner, who served as a defender for the Warriors, was one of six players that graduated during the offseason.

Madelyn Swenson, Sports Editor

Optimism is radiating from the Winona State University women’s soccer team this season, after a loss in the first round of the conference tournament last year.

The team also lost their top goalie and top scorer last year, which played a role in being voted sixth in the NSIC tournament.

Senior Bridget Doran, team co-captain, said no one on the team was happy about the ranking but it has made them want work to prove the poll wrong.

“When our team heard the rankings came out and saw that we were voted number six in the conference none of us were happy,” Doran said. “We knew that this season we would have to work hard, prove people wrong and show them throughout the season that we deserved a higher ranking.”

Head Coach, Matt Kellogg, agreed with Doran in an interview stating the ranking will make it hard for others to see the team coming. He said to even be ranked within the top third of the conference.

Kellogg also said fans can expect to see a lot of attacking opportunities and maybe some jitters in the back for the first few games.

“I think you are going to see a lot of attacking opportunities. We have a very good mix of veterans returning in our attack and a lot of youth coming in. So, I think we are going to create a lot of chances,” Kellogg said. “At any given time we were probably starting three seniors in our backline last year. I think you are going to see some early jitters out of our defenders.”

Despite the possible growing pains that might occur, Kellogg is sure the team will be able to fix those issues quickly.

The team wants be in the conference tournament, as well as the NCAA tournament, according to the other co-captain, senior Courtney Wiencek.

“The overall goal for this season is to make the conference tournament as well as the NCAA tournament,” Wiencek said. “We have made the conference tournament the past two years, but I believe we can make it further in that tournament and then go to the NCAA tournament as well.”

The team’s extensive depth will help them in the process of achieving this goal.

With a roster of 32 players, they have enough players to not worry about injury or pushing girls.

Kellogg explained this makes it easier to give rest to the team.

“We are deep so we can absorb injuries because we have one, two maybe three people deep at any given spot,” Kellogg said. “We are so deep we can get players rest, we don’t have to push them in practice, we don’t have to push them in games, we can get them that rest that they need.”

Wiencek reiterated that by commenting on the team’s talent.

“Our team’s strength lies mostly in our depth.  We have a ton of talent at every position and there is not a drop off from our starters to our bench players,” Wiencek said.

Kellogg said the team is not scared of any conference team, but they do respect them.