Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 30, 2016


Women's Soccer Has Heart Despite Losses

Kelleen Cullison

Despite the effort of the players, Manchester University's women’s soccer team lost a hard-fought battle against Huntington University on Sept. 21. 

The game took place on the opponents’ turf, and showcased the Spartans’ tenacious resolve. The first goal was made by the Spartans in the first three minutes of the game. However, a slip-up occurred soon after when the next goal they sunk was into the opponents’ net.  
Ending the first half trailing 3–1, the women rallied together, and through footwork and well-played runs, closed the gap, ending the game with a score of Huntington Foresters 4, Manchester Spartans 3. 

Although they were defeated, the team members are optimistic about the match, and games to come. “It’s the best game we’ve ever played, honestly,” said first year Destina Easley, outside defender. The name of the game is improving every step of the way. The girls give their all into practice, and it’s been paying off on the field. No matter the score, the team’s number one objective is to play with heart. “The team didn’t give up until the final whistle,” said Maranda Birmingham, forward. “Our offense was a continuous threat to Huntington’s defense.” 

The Spartans played an aggressive offense throughout the game. By making short passes up and down the field, the Spartans created an energy, and made opportunities to score goals. “From a forward’s standpoint, short passes up the field are very exciting,” Birmingham said. The team’s determined comeback made for an exciting match!”

Team dynamic is also really important to the women. The team practices for long hours together, joke together and sometimes even eat together. They have spent so much time as a unit, it is impossible for them not to share a strong bond. Their skill and cohesiveness on the field is a reflection of their family dynamic, and the relationship they have together. 

Away games are a bit more strenuous for the Spartans. Depending on the travel time, the women are confined to their seats on the bus, shortening the amount of time they have to limber up before the match. Being away from the home field can also have a mental effect. “It’s more relaxing to play at home.” Easley said. “There’s more time to prepare yourself.” 

They make bus rides more comfortable with pre-game snacks such as dry cereal, fruit snacks and granola bars, fueling up before departing the bus, and readying themselves with a short practice. 

With the season ahead looking bright, the team does not forget those who helped them get to where they are, and those that are invested in their improvement. “The coaches are the backbone of this team and we would not be where we are without them,” Birmingham said. 
The players’ improved performance each game is a testament to the dedication, effort and time put forth by the coaches, and by the players themselves.