Soccer team hopes for first ever National berth

By Danielle Templin

Sports Editor

The Viterbo women’s soccer team has been off to a fast start this season, with a current overall record of 13-1 and 5-0 in conference; the team has clinched at least a share of the conference championship. The team’s only loss of the season thus far came Sept. 2 against the Indiana Institute of Technology in a 2-3 loss.

Recent upset victories against  25th-ranked Ashford University and conference contender Grand View University have launched the V-Hawks into honorable mention rankings nationally.

With a win over Clarke University Oct. 10 the lady V-Hawks have one conference game remaining with second place St. Ambrose University on Oct. 20. A V-Hawks’ win would mean an outright championship for the team.

Thus far, the lady V-Hawks have been led by freshman forward
Molly Machometa, who currently has 29 goals for the season, which is second in the country. Along with being a top performer, Machometa has also been featured as the
Midwest Collegiate Conference player of the week two consecutive weeks in a row.

Steph Wisen leads the V-Hawks in both assists and assists per game in both team and conference statistics, with 10 for the season and .83 assists per game. On Sept. 22, Wisen broke the Viterbo women’s soccer single season assists record, breaking a previous single season record of 11 set by Colleen Lomis during the 2003 season.

The key to the V-Hawks’ success is a combination of team chemistry as well as a balanced combination on  the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

“I think that the team’s chemistry is great this year,” said Wisen. “We all get along great on and off the field, which helps us connect really well on the field.  Also, our defense is doing great with keeping the other team from scoring, and our offense is doing great at finishing when we have the opportunities.”

Wisen does not credit herself for her success this season, but rather her teammates’ abilities to be in the right positions on the field at the right time.

“We all work well together on the field, which makes it easy to create an opportunity for any of my teammates to score,” Wisen said. “Also, our offense has good position on the field and knows where they need to be in order to finish.”

With an offense sparked by Machometa, Wisen and the lady V-Hawks continue to look to the freshmen as a burst of energy offensively.

“Molly is one of the fastest girls in our conference,” Wisen said. “She has a lot of energy and is ‘goal hungry.’ As a forward, that’s exactly how she should be.  From day one, she came to prove herself as an essential piece of our team, and she has.”

With the V-Hawk offense providing the scoring for the season, the defense has continued to hold its own on the field, providing six shutouts so far this season. Once again, Wisen accredits team chemistry and communication to the success.

“Defensively we have been able to keep teams from scoring because of the control and connection between our defenders,” said Wisen.  “Also, we have great goalkeepers that all bring something to the plate.  The girls communicate effectively and have a good connection with the midfielders and forwards to help create offensive opportunities once they shut down the other teams.”

Although many others may be surprised by the V-Hawks’ success this season, the team is not. With the ultimate goal being a birth at nationals, the lady V-Hawks look to continue focusing on one game at a time.

“Our ultimate goal is to make it to nationals, but we are keeping our focus on one game at a time and are at least hoping to finish 1st in conference,” said Wisen.  “We came into this season being predicted to finish 5th in conference and that has motivated us to show that we are capable of finishing higher.”

With only two games left for the remainder of the season, including a decisive conference road game against St. Ambrose, the lady V-Hawks control their own destiny as they hope to capture their first conference championship since 2005 and their first ever birth at nationals in program history.

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