A devastating end to the 2014 women’s soccer season has left the team with a chip on their shoulder.
Last season, the Northwest Conference Championship Title for the Lutes came down to two games. Only one victory of the two was needed to seal the deal and the Lutes just couldn’t make it happen. A 1-0 loss to Willamette and then a 2-0 loss to Linfield sent the Lutes home empty-handed. Lutes coach Seth Spidahl said this about the misfortune, “We were the best team over 14 games, but the conference schedule is 16 games and we fell short at the end.”
“We weren’t as fresh that last weekend as we should have been to push through and get the conference title.” A long season that goes from early September to the middle of November can be enough to drain any team’s energy.
But it is a new year, the start of a brand new season, and the Lutes are ready to take on as many games as it takes. The team already has 4 wins and 1 tie against their cross-town rivals UPS under their belt.
A pre-season trip to England also allowed the Lutes an early jumpstart to the season.
“It put us ahead as we got to play some extra games before we started conference play,” Mitsui said. The Lutes were able to play 3 women’s professional teams while in England, ending the trip with a 2-1 record. The team gained valuable experience that they used to carry them into pre-season practices and games. The incoming freshmen class was not allowed on the England trip, but the team had no problem meshing with them when they arrived for preseason practices.
Furthermore, Senior Lauren Larson and Junior Kaylie Rozell both sustained ACL injures that will keep them off the field this season. Two early-season ending injuries for upperclassmen leaders can’t stop the Lutes from firing on all cylinders. Even with losing two keys players, the Lutes have started off strong and the team sites their depth of talent as a huge factor in how well they have done this season.
The Lutes have upcoming home games on Saturday October 10, against Linfield, and Sunday October 11 against Pacific.
“Our daily goal is to improve each day and grow closer as a team and at the end we will look up and see where we finished.”Coach Spidahl’s philosophy for the 2015 season.