By Ryan Miller
Expectations for another successful Lady V-Hawk soccer season are high with numerous returners including last year’s Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC) Player of the Year and Honorable Mention All-American, Steph Wisen, and MCC NewComer of the Year and Honorable Mention All-American, Molly Machometa.
With hard work in the offseason and a great start to the season, a repeat of last year’s performance looks promising. The Lady V-Hawks are on pace to accomplish their goals with a record of 7-2 as of Sept. 27.
“The team has done a lot of conditioning to increase our endurance on the field throughout the offseason and preseason,” said sophomore forward Machometa from McHenry, Ill.
“During preseason we practiced twice a day; our morning practice consisted of conditioning and our afternoon practice usually involved ball handling and skill work,” said Caitrin Michicich, sophomore midfielder from Westmont, Ill. Michicich received the Champions of Character Award last year and currently is a team captain.
The Lady V-Hawks acquired key additions to their team for the 2013 season.
“We have a lot of new freshmen this year which has benefitted our team in a very positive way,” Michicich said. “The amount of skill we have provides our team a lot of depth.”
“These additions have already impacted our season with their dedication and hard work,” Machometa added.
Like any team, the Lady V-Hawks had to acquire team chemistry with their new teammates.
“We had a lot of returners; therefore team chemistry was there for the most part to start,” Machometa said. “However, we have done several different team bonding activities in the offseason to build chemistry with the new additions. It only took a few games with the freshmen to have complete chemistry on the field”
Freshmen center midfield Katie Bares and forward Liz Conejo are two new additions to the team who have proved to be valuable to this year’s success thus far.
Bares, from Belgium, Wis., helped lead her team to a state title in high school and also received First Team All-Conference accolades. Conejo, from Sun Praire, Wis., was Honorable Mention All-State in high school and currently is leading the V-Hawks in goals scored.
“Our team goals and expectations this year are very high considering how well we did last season. We would like to set the bar higher [this year] by making it past the first round of nationals and being named MCC Champions for the second year in a row,” Machometa said.
Conference play for the Lady V-Hawks starts Sept. 28 against AIB College of Business.
“We feel confident going into conference play,” Machometa said. “All of our games have been high scoring, and the games we won by a lot gave us a confidence boost. We are starting to adjust to our new formation, which will be dangerous against other teams.”
With the new formation, players, and returners the Lady V-Hawks look to build off last year’s success and accomplish new feats this year.