Teams finally have ‘swagger’

by Morgan Fleener

It’s been a Cinderella story kind of year for the Simpson soccer teams this season, as Women’s head coach Ryan Sander summed up the year in one word: “magical.”

 “I’m really happy about the way we are playing the game,” Sander said. “It’s been fun to watch the game be played the way it’s supposed to be played. We are doing that right now.”

 The women’s team traveled to Cedar Rapids to take on Coe College this past Saturday and defeated the Kohawks 1-0 in double overtime.

 Senior Katherine Bird sent Simpson to victory as she scored the single goal for both teams in competition.

 The following day the Storm took on Augustana in Rock Island, Ill.

The game ended in a tie of 1-1 in double overtime to end the Storm’s weekend, setting up goals of high expectations for future play.

 “When playing Coe and Augustana this weekend everyone really stepped up and played our game,” Sander said. “We played really well together and it just paved the way for the rest of our season.”

Junior Kara Lovik has high hopes that the team can finish the season successfully if its members continue supporting each other. 

“Our team goal is to win our conference and the conference tournament,” Lovik said. “I feel like we have a lot of potential this year and if we continue to play like we are now it will be a really awesome season.”

Freshman Nicole Pirie said the team has drastically improved in terms of building off of one another and sticking it out until the end.

“When we were playing against Augustana this weekend, we all played extremely hard,” Pirie said.  “We pulled together and we wanted to win more than anything. We played 110 minutes and even though we could come up with a hundred excuses why we couldn’t do it, we only needed one reason to keep going: we wanted to win.”

The Simpson women now stand at a record of 7-2-2, seating 3rd in the conference behind Wartburg and Loras.

Sander believes the Storm will be successful in the Iowa conference this year.

“I think that our mentality is different than it was early on,” Sander said. “We go into games now expected to win and are dedicated to getting those results. We are finally starting to walk with a little swagger.”

The men’s soccer team has also been hard at work with a new coach and a 4-5-1 season, including a record of 1-0 in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC).

On Sept. 24th, the Storm left Cedar Rapids after a 1-0 win over Coe College. 

Junior Mark Lahart says everyone doing a good job on the team had much to do with defeating the Kohawks.

“We played extremely well this Saturday,” Lahart said. “We got a great result in beating Coe, a team that was picked to finish ahead of us in the conference standings this year.”

The next day the men took on Augustana at home, where the team fell short with a close 1-0 ending. 

“Three of our losses have been by one goal, so we are putting ourselves in a position to be competitive in almost every game,” Lahart said. “Our main goal is to get back to the conference tournament, which we are definitely on the right track. If we continue to work hard and buy into what the coaches are telling us, we can be a dangerous team come tournament time.”

Senior Jon Boss said that the positive mindset of the team is a big difference between this year and last year’s expectations and goals.

“Our new coach has provided a positive environment at practice to adapt a brighter mood swing,” Boss said. “We go into each practice and game playing well together as a team, regardless (of) the outcome.” 

Both teams will be starting off the new month hosting the alumni game at Bill Buxton Stadium this Saturday, Oct. be playing at Wartburg on Saturday, Oct. 8 starting with the women at 1:30 p.m. and the men at 3:30 p.m.