Photo by Matthew Claybrook
Trinity’s women’s soccer team beat Texas Lutheran University (TLU) 6–0 last Friday, securing the team’s fifth win this season.
Trinity’s aggressive offense clearly demonstrated on Friday that an attacking player is the first line of defense. Throughout the game, Trinity maintained possession of the ball that led to the Tigers taking 35 total shots, 17 of which were on goal. Trinity’s assertive performance prevented Texas Lutheran from taking more than three shots in the entire game, none of which were on goal.
First-year Molly Sheridan, assisted by junior Lindsey Peng, scored the first goal fewer than eight minutes into the game. Just three minutes later, sophomore Camryn Beall scored the second goal, assisted by Sheridan and first-year Nyah Shepherd.
Trinity closed out the first half with three goals — sophomore Kaity Ward, assisted by Sheridan, scored the third goal — and returned in the second half just as strong. First-years Cassie Bowers and Emma Everts each scored an unassisted goal. The final goal of the game was scored by first-year Alana Wickham, assisted by Peng.
For several players, this game featured many individual achievements. Sheridan and Wickham, both first-year players, scored the first goals of their collegiate career. After assisting with two goals, Peng jumped into the team lead in total assists with five assists on the season.
Part of the team’s success can be attributed to the large roster of players, which allows the team to rotate players more frequently and gives Head Coach Dylan Harrison the ability to strategically choose the best players for every game and opponent.
Friday’s victory is a preview of what is shaping up to be a promising season for the Tigers. TLU is one of the conference teams that Trinity will need to beat in order to have a shot at winning their 24th ever Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championship Title. Although Friday’s game was not technically a conference game, Trinity’s easy victory highlights the team’s chances of reaching the SCAC Championship and their potential to advance in Nationals.
“No matter what year, what team we have, the goal is to try to achieve what we’re capable of and that means continue to find ways to get better each and every day, continue to find ways to push ourselves, continue to find ways to be the best team that we can be and let everything else kinda take care of itself from there,” Harrison said.
However, according to sophomore Madison Horner, the team is shooting for something a bit more concrete.
“Team goal: win conference again and go as far as possible in the national tournament,” Horner said.
First-year Alana Wickham echoesd Horner’s sentiment
“The high expectations and standards of a collegiate team can be intimidating. Ultimately the mindset is the same — we want to win. I personally love the competitive atmosphere we have within the team because we are always pushing each other to get better, and it translates to our drive for success during a game,” Wickham said.
If the team’s performance so far is any indication, these ambitions are exactly what the Tigers are poised to achieve.
Although the victory over TLU is a positive forecast for the season, the Tigers still face many challenges on the road to glory. On Sunday the Tigers fell to No. 4 Christopher Newport, who are unbeaten on the year.
It was Trinity’s second non-conference loss on the year, both of which have come in the form of shutouts.
The exciting beginning of the season has fans on the edge of their seats in anticipation of what’s next for the women’s soccer team, and the fans aren’t the only ones looking forward to the season with suspense.
“I’m really excited to see where this year goes, because I definitely think we have a really strong start and we have a great season line-up ahead of us, as far as who we’re playing,” Horner said.
Players and coaches encourage fans to come out and support the team.
“If you come out and you actually take the time, you’re going to see a pretty fun, dynamic team to watch. You’re going to see a team the enjoys attacking, scoring goals. You’re going to see [a team] that’s physically tough and likes getting into challenges and tackles. You’re going to see a team that wants the best for everybody and, really, a team that’s proud to represent their university,” Harrison said.
The game against TLU certainly delivered on that promise, and despite the loss to a highly ranked team on Sunday, there is much reason for optimism among the team. The Tigers play their first conference game of the season against Schreiner University on Friday, Oct. 4 at Trinity.