by Elizabeth Arehart
This fall the University of Northwestern women’s soccer team welcomed 11 freshmen and have been working hard to become a unified team both on and off the field.
The women had a rough start to the season, losing their first three games, but they have learned and improved with every game.
“We’re a young team,” said Amy Nyquist, a junior defensive player. “We’re still learning about each other and our team’s style of play as a whole, as well as developing chemistry.”
The team has changed their practice dynamics to improve their weak spots, such as control of the ball, physical play and communication on the field.
Senior midfielder, Sarah Scinto said, “We have a solid team and once we straighten these bumps out, a lot of our game plan will start to come together even more.” Scinto also said the women are working to highlight their strengths.
“We are a fast team and have the ability to beat any team quickness wise. We also have the ability to send balls to the corner of the field and have our outside midfielders cross the ball for an opportunity to score. That is our game plan and we’ve been really focusing on that in practice and games,” she said.
The soccer team is looking for the new freshmen players to be a large asset to the team this season. “Many of the freshmen bring incredible strengths to the team, including speed, smart play and coachability,” said Nyquist.
Senior Jenna Powers said “[The freshmen] came ready to play and are fitting in very well.”
The women have also been intentional about being a solid team off the field. Powers said the women have had a lot of night activities during the first week of school to get to know each other. They also had a weekend bonding retreat last week, and recently took a day off of practice to serve at Feed My Staving Children.
Freshman midfielder, Anna Hitterdal, who scored the team’s first goal of the season last week against Northwestern College (Iowa) said, “From day one, the upperclassmen have been very inclusive and encouraging to us freshmen and we really appreciate that aspect of the team.”
The women aren’t just intentional in their relationships with each other, but also their relationship with God. Hitterdal especially appreciated the team’s tradition of singing a hymn on the field after every game. She said, “It reminds us why we are there in the first place.”
“This year is a new season for the UNW women’s soccer team,” said Scinto, “With the new field and our own locker room, we are excited to have home games.”