The William Jewell College (WJC) men’s and women’s soccer teams hosted rival Rockhurst University on Wed. in what would be the last match of the season for both teams. The men lost 1-0 and the women fell 3-1.
In the men’s game, Rockhurst’s Drew Douglas scored in the 13th minute, making the score 1-0 at the half. Jewell came out in the second half and outshot the Hawks 9-7 but could not net a goal to tie the game. Aaron Froehlich, first-year, led the Cardinals in shots with five and one shot on goal. Overall, the Hawks outshot the Cardinals 17-12. The men ended the season with a record 3-12-3 (2-9-3).
“This season we went in thinking that we were going to be able to make it to the conference tournament, but that obviously did not happen. Along the way, we have had a lot of roadblocks, including our center-back and captain [Shane Bowlen, senior] breaking his ankle, making him unable to play for more than half the season. We also received five red cards throughout the season. With things like this happening, it is very hard to get the results we hoped for. We have realized that these things can happen and we have to play with what we’ve got,” Jeff Nickel, sophomore, said.
In the women’s game, Rockhurst got out to a quick start, scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes. Gabby Brooks, junior, assisted Aspen Hawkins, first-year, on a goal in the 60th minute to make the score 2-1. Rockhurst would go on to score two minutes later to make the final score 3-1. The women ended the season with a record of 6-8-3 (5-8-2).
“Teams have been good competition, and we have struggled all over the field this year. Teams have found ways to break down our defense and get some shots off that are hard to block,” Lea Maxwell, junior, said.
Although neither team made the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) tournament, both state that they have been able to learn from the season.
“I think the team has learned that we all make mistakes and that not everyone is perfect. We also learned that we have to rely on each other to create a team atmosphere that is enjoyable. If we play for the love of the game, that is when we play our best,” Maxwell said.
“This year I think that we worked well as a team to overcome all of the obstacles, but in order to do that we had to use formations and players that we were not used to and this made us weaker than we would have hoped. Now that we have experimented with those things, I hope that it allows us to build on them and succeed next season,” Nickel said.
With the seasons over, both teams will be looking to make offseason improvements and fill the spots of graduating seniors.
“We are losing four great seniors: Leah Connery, Erin Christiansen, Lauren Rein and Brittany Odell. All four of these players bring something great to the team. It will be hard to adjust without them on the field, but hopefully some people will step up to fill the roles or the freshmen freshman coming in will help us fill in the gaps,” Maxwell said.
Despite the hardships faced this season and the expected loss of valuable seniors, Nickel speaks for both teams when he shares his optimism for next year.
“My expectations next season are to make it to the conference tournament and be able to share that experience with my teammates. I think with hard work and detection through our off season will help us achieve that.” Nickel said. “We will be losing seven great seniors that all contributed to our team, and they will be greatly missed.”
The final season statistics for the men can be viewed here.
The final season statistics for the women can be viewed here.