The men’s and women’s soccer teams recently ended their seasons, but they did so on a high note.
The men’s team scored 11 wins—their best record since they won 10 games in 2009 and the first time they won 11 since the MWC Championship season of 2006.
It was the seventh time in Head Coach Tim Schmiechen's 23 seasons they won at least 11 games. (The record is 12 in 1992.) It's also the 12th time in his tenure they've won 10 or more games in a season.
“I've had a wonderful time over the years and have been very lucky to have many very good players and outstanding assistant coaches help me,” Schmiechen said.
He credits some of the team’s success to players Marc Robinson’13 and Jackson Wilkins’13, who are very gifted scorers. He also said they had one of the strongest defenses in the conference because of outstanding play by BJ Kiser’15 in the goal and Sean Little’14 and Ryan Munger’14 on defense.
“I am proud of the entire season because everyone gave it their all throughout the season, and we all had winning as the number one goal for the season,” Robinson said. “No one had any doubts of us winning, which spread a positive attitude throughout the team.”
Robinson’s proudest moment was winning their second game against Concordia University, a team he said has beaten them badly over the years.
“This year was the first year we beat them, 2-1 in overtime,” he said. “The overtime win was also important because over the years we usually lose or tie when it comes to overtime, so to have an overtime win against a team that we have never beaten was very exciting. It was also the second game of the season so that win lifted the team up and from that point I knew we would do well this year.”
Wilkins, who called the season fun, entertaining, and full of hard work, said his proudest moments were during the second half of his final game against Carroll University when each player did all they could until the very end and when they beat Lake Forest College. The latter game was also Schmiechen’s favorite.
“They are a very good team and very well coached,” he said of Lake Forest, this year’s conference champion. “It took an outstanding performance from each player on the field for us to beat them. There are few greater feelings as a coach than when you challenge your students to perform at the highest level, when so much is at stake, and they succeed. You see a look in their eyes that reminds you why you coach.”
As for what to work on, Schmiechen said the focus is to find returning players and new players who can put the ball in the back of the net. Another goal is to get back to the conference championship tournament and win it.
The women’s soccer team performed extraordinarily well this season as well. The team finished with seven wins, their most since 2009 and equal to the combined total of the last two seasons.
“I think it really shows what our youth are capable of,” said Head Coach Liz Bartley. Out of 17 members, 15 are first-years and sophomores. “They’re a good, positive group.”
Caitlin Paterson’15 described this season as a successful building block for the team. “We are a very young team, and getting the wins in both conference and non-conference games really shows that over the next few years we will be a team to watch and watch out for!”
Paterson is most proud of the first conference game against Cornell College. “It was not only our first conference game, but our first conference win in a very long time,” she said. “To win 2-1 against the newest team in the MWC was so invigorating. We definitely put a statement out with that one. Also, personally, my parents and sister were there and I got to score a goal for them!”
For Bartley, the Ripon game was the most gratifying because it was the first time Beloit beat them in a couple years. Plus, it was a tight game all the way until the last ten minutes when Beloit scored a pair of goals.
Though Bartley is sad to see the season end, she said her team is busy with individual meetings, setting up off-season workouts to hone their upper body and core strength, and helping with the recruiting.
“We are an incredibly close group, from first-years to our one senior, and even through the tough and stressful times, we stick together and support each other,” Paterson said.