MU
Oak Leaves

September 23, 2016

Hersick Women's Soccer Story
 

Courtney Hersick charges down the field with the ball at her feet.

Women's Soccer Remains Hopeful


Shelby Harrell

Throughout the beginning of the fall season, the Manchester University women's soccer team has shown the determination and hard work that is necessary to be successful in athletics. Though its official box scores may show that its season has not been their best in terms of wins to losses, the women's soccer team still remains hopeful moving forward.
 
The women's soccer team season officially began on Sept. 2, with the Spartans losing a hard-fought battle to the Belles of Saint Mary's College. The game lasted for 90 minutes, with the Belles pulling slightly ahead in the number of shots made. Eventually, the evening resulted in the Spartans scoring an average of one goal while the Belles earned four goals total. The next day saw no better results as the Spartans traveled back to Saint Mary's College to face the Kalamazoo Hornets, who shot a total of six goals to the Spartans’ one.
  
Though the Manchester women's soccer is currently 0–5, the women remain optimistic by not defining the success of a season based on total wins and losses per individual game, but by the amount of growth they experience as a team and how they build off the progress that is developed through each game. Junior mid-fielder Courtney Hersick said that she would definitely consider this a season to rebuild. "Our new coaches have brought a new culture to the team that has helped us develop more as players,” she said.
 
Manchester women's soccer head coach Christine Johnson joined the program in early August. Johnson, who is the former assistant coach of the Fresno State University women's soccer program as well as a former professional soccer player for the California Storm and Football Club bay area pride teams, easily has the credentials and background experience necessary to ensure that the Spartans meet their goals of qualifying for the conference tournament. “Despite not having had a great start, the women’s team has continued to grow, fight and mature as soccer players,” Johnson said. “What I love most about this team so far has been the way they continue to respond to adversity by fighting and growing closer as a team instead of quitting or turning on each other.”
 
Though the season is merely three weeks underway, the women have already experienced a boost in morale. "Our new coach has definitely made us more excited and passionate about the game," said junior defense Abbey Krupp. "She brings a lot of knowledge and inspires a greater work ethic in all of us on and off the field." 
Hersick also commented on the amount of discipline that Johnson has brought to the team. "One thing that she always says to us," Hersick said, "is 'to be disciplined, do the little things consistently.’”
  
With consistency, any team has a better chance of achieving its ultimate goal. In the case of the women's soccer team, its goal is to qualify for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) tournament. The HCAC is currently scheduled to take place on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 6 p.m.
 
In order to qualify for the HCAC, Hersick also said that they need to improve morale all together as a team. "We need the mentality of a winning team,” she said. Though the conference tournament is still pretty far down the road, the women are already experiencing success in terms of growth as a team and are looking forward to the rest of the season.