Lady Saints defeat Webber International, fall to Embry-Riddle, Northwood
By Michael O’Donnell
Photo by Glenn Judah
PHOTO CAPTION: Lady Saints junior defender Jessica Echterling is one of the few upperclassmen on this year’s squad. The team secured its first win on Sept. 24 at home.
Coming off a record-setting season with 14 wins, coach Teddy Meyer and the Lady Saints finally got the monkey off their back with their first win Sept. 24, against Webber International in a 3-0 win.
Sophomore forward Pam Quimby scored first for the Lady Saints in the 31st minute of the game on a loose ball in front of the goal. Freshman forward Tiffany Urquhart scored on a through ball in the 79th minute, passed by junior defender Jessica Echterling, and to cap off the game in the 86th minute, Quimby scored her second of the match off of a pass from Urquhart.
“It was a good win,” Meyer said. “It was very rewarding.”
The win, however, was not as infectious as Meyer would have wished, as the Lady Saints lost their next two matches — the first to arch rival Embry-Riddle University, 3-1 and then Northwood, 1-0, leaving the Lady Saints’ record at 1-9-1.
“There are two factors at play here,” Meyer said. “One is that this is a young team, two is our strength of schedule. If we would have played this schedule last year we would have only won eight to nine night games. I scheduled this type of schedule on purpose. Going into the NCAA Div. II is a long process and we are in it for the long haul. When the girls on our roster are juniors and seniors, the mistakes have already been made.”
The inexperience and strength of schedule can be seen in the collective stats of the team’s season thus far. The Lady Saints are being out muscled and trail their opponents in every major statistical category.
However, the caliber of teams that the Lady Saints have played this season has been very competitive. They began the season against a Div. I school. They went on to play top-20 Div. II schools in their respective conferences, and then played top-ranked NAIA schools.
“I could have scheduled easy teams, but what’s that going to help?” Meyer said. “It is great to win, but for right now it is better to learn and get the experience as we make the move to NCAA Div. II.”
The team’s competitive spirit and the focus of the season has not faltered one bit during the Lady Saints losing skid, according to Meyer.
“The girls know that if they do not play well during the week at practice or leading up to a mid-week game, the team and I will talk about making a roster change to put the team in the best position to get a win,” he said. “Overall though, our goal has stayed the same. It is to stay consistent in our play and to go out and play a full 90 minutes of complete soccer at maximum capacity.”
Morale has been tough at times, however. “It’s frustrating,” Meyer said. “Not in the sense of the way we are playing, but no one knows exactly when we are going to click.”
Meyer says their record is not indicative of the all the hard work during practice.
“We have not established an identity as a team yet,” he said. “We play great in practice, but when it comes to games we cannot find it. I think that is indicative of every team. In the end, every one on the team wants to leave their mark and do their part and I do not think the girls’ overall record is indicative of that.”
As frustrating as it is with the tough schedule and only half of the team playing together for a few months, the Lady Saints are trying to keep everything in perspective.
“Each day we are getting better and better, but these girls know how tough the schools are that we are playing,” Meyer said. “This time next year, we will be able to gauge the teams we play, and the team as a whole will know the limit they must push themselves to, and each other to get the maximum effort out of everyone on the team.”
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