The Alma College Women’s Soccer team concluded their season after a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Albion on Saturday, Nov. 2. This loss came in the first round of the 2019 MIAA conference tournament.
The Scot’s started the scoring in the 30th minute with a goal from Ashley Odham (’22) to take the lead. Lily Stephan (‘23) earned an assist on the scoring play.
In the 68th minute, Albion returned the favor to tie the game at one. A second goal was scored just three minutes after by the Britons and was the last goal scored in the game.
Goalkeeper, Ally Wentworth (’21) made six saves in the game but Albion outshot the Scots 12-3 overall; allowing them to secure the victory.
“The conference tournament was very exciting for our team. As a current junior, it was our first appearance in the tournament! The nerves were high as we were ready to get revenge on Albion. Obviously, the outcome was not what we expected and wanted, but it just gives our team more motivation to put the work in now to get the outcome we want next year!” said Makenzie Rajewski (’21).
Head coach Meghan Gorsuch spoke about the team progression throughout the year and how that prepared them to go into conference play strong.
“We played a lot of tough matches early on in the season and suffered in particular two overtime losses. Later on, in the season during conference play, we had a huge overtime win against Olivet, we were able to learn from our previous experiences and apply moving forward. Winning non-conference games in the first half of season definitely gave us confidence and helped us to establish our style of play that applied in conference season,” said Gorsuch.
The team also had four women make the All-Conference team this season. Makenzie Rajewski and Lily Stephan were voted first team; Lexi Russell (’22) and Dakota Booher (’23) earned second team.
A lot of young players were playing big roles this season, including transfer sophomore Lexi Russell.
“As a transfer sophomore, I found this transition to be amazing. My individual growth and success this season came largely from the team and the positive environment they provided all season. They brought competition, excitement, energy, and encouragement every day whether it be to practices, games, lifts or team events. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to be a part of this team this past season and help contribute to the team’s success,” said Russell.
Though the team is young there is still a vital part that is filled by upperclassman, including junior Makenzie Rajewski.
“I am very proud of our team this year. We are a very young team and are full of potential! We were ranked last in preseason rankings and ended up in 4th place. We had many come-back wins and also defeated the number 1 ranked team. We fought hard this year and it showed. To say the least, we have grown so much in the past year and have a lot of growing to still do!” said Rajewski.
A major accomplishment for the team this season was their major strides in performance from last season, Coach Meghan Gorsuch gave some insight on that.
“There was a belief in the team’s mission and process to get there this season. There was a willingness to learn and less of an ego problem this year. Everybody was willing to put in the work and accepted their roles, which is essential for genuine team chemistry. There are always things to work on, but we connected on and off the field and that makes a difference,” said Gorsuch.
The team moves into next season with big goals and lots of confidence after their promising season.
“Moving into next season our goals are focused around our performance and commitment in the off-season. By holding ourselves accountable, lifting, and practicing in the off-season, we can work towards even greater success next season. Being ranked first in conference is a goal we have for next season and, of course, the main goal will be to win our conference tournament and be selected for the D3 NCAA tournament,” said Russell.
The Scots’ Women’s Soccer team finished with a 10-6-1 overall record and 5-3 in the conference. This was a strong finish compared to last season, when they only had two wins overall.