By MICHELLE KIM – CENTO WRITER
As the year progresses and the pressure heightens, Centre Women’s Soccer (CWS) remains focused throughout the grind of the season, winning seven out of the 12 games so far.
Losing in double overtime to Sewanee University of the South last Saturday in a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat puts the team 0-2 in conference and 7-4-1 overall.
In a similar case, their game against Emory University ended up with a loss at 1-0 in double overtime. However, Emory University is ranked fifth in the nation so controlling most of the game was a huge accomplishment in itself, but these ladies aren’t satisfied with the tie. They look to other games for inspiration as they continue to battle through the season.
“I think the weekend we played Denison University and Rose-Hulman Institue of Technology was a very good weekend for our team,” first-year midfielder Nancy Ingham said.
“We fought hard against a very good Denison University team and worked together to score in the last ten minutes. What made that weekend so special was the fact that we played and defeated Rose-Hulman. We didn’t start the game off the way we wanted to, but we came together in the second half and put two goals up on the scoreboard. We were all tired, and we were all sore, but we knew we had to win that game for each other and we got it done.”
The players believe the outlook in conference play is a positive one and hope to be conference champions for the fourth year in a row.
“Our team is led by great seniors with amazing leadership and confidence in each and every one of us, which is so nice to have because they motivate you to do better and makes the team realize that we can achieve our goals,” Ingham said.
The team knows that conference play represents a tough challenge and that to reach the primary goal of a conference championship it will take determination and a strong effort from all members of the team.
“We have a very talented team this year even though we are young. At this point in time anything can happen at the conference tournament, but I think we have an excellent chance at winning a fourth consecutive title,” senior forward Anne Mitchell said.
If the team were able to win the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) conference tournament they will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
However if they were to fall to an SAA opponent, they would only make the tournament via an at-large bid, which are difficult to obtain for any team.
With the exception of their match against Spalding University on Sat., Oct. 14, the remainder of the season consists of all conference games, so the team needs to remain as focused as possible to achieve another one of their goals, receiving a bid to the NCAA tournament. The team is currently unranked, but has received votes for the NCAA Top 25.
“If we receive a bid to the NCAA tournament, we will tackle that challenge like we tackle every challenge we face, and that is with ‘all heart’ (which is our team motto). We will remain focused, try our best to stay healthy, and will be ready to leave everything out on the field each and every game,” sophomore forward Destinie Graves said.
The team’s hard work is not only being recognized through their win total, but also through many regional acknowledgments.
Two of the players have already been honored as the Southern Athletic Association Players of the week —Destinie Graves as the Offensive Player of the Week and sophomore Tori Dillard as the Defensive Player of the Week both for games Played between Sept. 15 – Sept. 21.
As CWS heads into the heart of their conference schedule, they will need to be prepared for the tough tests ahead. Centre fell to Berry College 3-0 on Sat., Oct. 11. The Colonels defeated the Vikings in last season’s SAA tournament final.
They return to conference play on Fri., Oct. 17 at Hendrix College. CWS will look to finish the year strong and avenge their previous conference losses to Sewanee and Berry.