The Wayne State Women’s Soccer team came back from a long weekend of road games beginning with a loss at Bemidji State Friday and ending with a victory and Minnesota Crookston Sunday.
The women traveled over six hours to get to the first contest at Bemidji State with a two-hour drive to the next game at Minnesota Crookston.
“Road games are hard to get, whether it’s the first place or the last-place team you’re happy with it,” head coach Joe Cleary said.
In the game on Friday, Bemidji State scored just two minutes into the game, creating a difficult uphill battle for the Wildcats.
“Bemidji was tough because we gave a goal away in the first two minutes,” Cleary said. “When you do that it’s like basically starting the game down 1-0. When that happens, it changes your game plan and we didn’t handle that very well.”
Bemidji State improved to an overall record of 9-4-1 as they increase their chances of continuing their season in hopes of the national tournament.
After the loss, the Wayne State women had to rally and they successfully took on the Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles to improve their record to 6-5-4.
“Friday was a tough game, physically and mentally so to rally and bring it home on Sunday was great,” senior Rachel Fraser said. “The whole weekend was mentally tough for the girls, so the fact that they kept it together and brought home a win was definitely a positive.”
“The girls responded well to Crookston,” Cleary said. “With the Northern Minnesota weather there was hard ground, and they were a really physical team, but our girls did a good job of keeping their heads and I thought we were the better team in that game.”
Senior Sophie Ketchmark came up big in the game with a pair of goals that ensured the final score of 2-0.
“Sophie was really good this weekend,” Cleary said. “She handles the pressure, she owns that. She owns our losses too as a leader, which if you can own a loss as a leader then you get to own the wins and she certainly did that. She’s just a hard worker.”
Cleary said he looks for his players to be strong and give max effort. He wants them to be able to play for something bigger than themselves and take the next best action whether or not they are playing good. He felt that this is exactly what his seniors and juniors have done very well with this year.
Coming off the road win, the team wants to take this rhythm with them as they still have two big upcoming road games at Concordia-St. Paul and Augustana in the following weeks.
“We have some tough competition coming up but definitely plenty of opportunity to be better and take some points,” Fraser said. “The girls are prepared for a fight and are ready to play some big games.”
In these upcoming games, Cleary said they are looking to get back to being better defensively like they were at the beginning of the year.
The women hope to end the season strong on the road and at their final home game of the regular season, which takes place Sunday, Nov. 3 at 1 P.M.