By Amelia Sniffin
The Wheaton Women’s Soccer team is on a four-game winning streak after beating Carroll University 2-0 on Wednesday night. The team moved up to first place in the CCIW rankings after an Illinois Wesleyan scored on themselves 29th minute of Friday night’s game. The victory ended the Titans’ fourgame winning streak and added to Wheaton’s impressive 10-1-1 overall record.
“It was a statement game for us,” said junior Captain Sarah Tomich after the match. “Last year we lost to Illinois Wesleyan in penalty kicks in the conference tournament final. We wanted to show them that we are the better team and prove that we’re the best in the conference.”
Despite facing plenty of tough, high ranking opponents, the Thunder has continued to prove its dominance, bouncing around the top ten NCAA Division III rankings.
“Our coach always says that teams play their best against us because they know it will be a good game,” said junior Captain Carney Blake. “So we have to always be on.”
Back in late September, the Thunder traveled to take on 12th ranked University of Chicago. After a double-overtime battle, the game ended in a tie, their first of the season. With the possibility of meeting teams like University of Chicago again in the NCAA tournament, the team considered the match a learning experience.
“It’s easier to play someone after you’ve lost to them or tied them, than if you’ve beat them,” said Tomich. “It’s hard to beat someone twice and it’s kind of nice to be the underdog.”
Currently ranked 9th in the NCAA, the Thunder has just six more games left in their season before tournament play begins.
Wheaton entered this season as the three-time defending regular season champion and has won 20 conference titles in program history. The team is hopeful that their nine new freshmen will help add another title to their list of accomplishments.
Already this season, the freshmen have impacted the team’s playing. Newcomers Tori Seeland, Sarah Max and Sophia Lindquist have earned themselves spots in the starting lineup and put up good numbers. The freshmen have contributed to the team’s 27/7 goals for goals against ratio with defensive plays from defender Max and three goals each for midfielders Seeland and Linquist.
In her first year on the team, Max is joined by both her twin sister, Rebekah and her older sister, Hannah. “Adding some sisters to the mix has definitely made for a fun and even more connected atmosphere both on and off the pitch,” Hannah said. “The opportunity to compete on the field with my sisters, just like in our high school days, has been so fun, even with Rebekah’s disappointing season-ending injury.”
The team has struggled with several injuries this season, resulting in changes to their lineup.
“It is difficult, but we’ve definitely fought through that adversity,” said Tomich.
Though they realized there are still many obstacles to overcome and games to win, when asked their main goal for the season, both captains confidently responded in unison, “To win the national championship.”
On Saturday, the Thunder look to continue their winning streak against Augustana College at 5 p.m. The game can be streamed live at portal.stretchinternet.com/augustana.