Women’s Soccer Team Sets Goals for Growth, Enjoys Bonding Activities

Noah Proffitt

The Manchester women’s soccer team has started their 2022 season, with their first game at home on Aug. 27. This season the team strives for improvements on and off the field. They are working towards being more competitive and offensive, and Head Coach Katie Mitchell is leading the team to complete these goals.

Mitchell described their previous season as “very successful.” The team gets together each season to set goals for themselves to reach, and they were able to achieve a lot that they set for the 2021 season. A big win for that season was the game against Huntington University. The game went into overtime, and the Spartan women were able to secure the win and get their first victory of the season.

Leading the team’s improvements in the 2021–2022 season was Mitchell herself. Last year she was able to get a university-best with 10 Academic All-Heartland Conference Honorees. She also had a pair of Spartans, Adelle Stanko and Bridget Nash, earn an Honorable Mention All-HCAC recognition.

Along with each member of the team setting goals, Mitchell set one herself. Her efforts would go toward encouraging the women to grow closer to one another. In fact, one of her goals is, as she puts it, “making sure that the team culture is great.” She also said she believes that good team culture can set a great tone for how the rest of a season can go.

One of the ways they’re building a stronger team is with group activities and events outside the field. They have gone to ice cream shops and axe-throwing venues to help get closer. As the women get to know each other more, the team builds a bond. Mitchell strongly believes that team spirit is a big part of success as well as completing their goals.

Besides growing stronger as a team and a family, another goal that the team had set this year was focused on growth. Mitchell says that she’s hoping to see growth in everything, from each game to every practice. To do this she has been focusing on improving her players’ mindset, so they can make better decisions on the field.

Mitchell believes that the team is improving game by game this season. They are playing very challenging teams outside of Conference. She says this allows the team to complete their goals in time for the conference. They are trying to improve themselves each time they step on the field, like having shots against them.

The team right now, even with a few losses, is still very confident in the future of this season. “Right now we are focused on improvement from playing more challenging teams in their division,” says Mitchell, so that they are ready for conference play later in the fall.

Mitchell and the team will continue to work on their goals for the remainder of the season, while at the same time building a strong family connection with the team. She also hopes for the MU community to come out to the games. “The environment is great and the field is beautiful,” she says.