The women's soccer team played their last game of the season on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Denison University. The Big Red were on the attack from the outset, dominating much of the first half as they headed to the lockeroom with a 7-0 lead.
Sophomore forward Becky Kanuch said, "We didn't seem focused in the beginning. We were a little intimidated by the fact that they are a nationally ranked team." The Yeowomen stepped up in the second half, holding Denison to only one goal and a Big Red 8-0 victory. Senior midfielder Katie Durham-Hammer said, "We never gave up even when we were down."
"Denison was not the game we wanted to end on," said Kanuch.
The team finished the season with an overall record of 6-13 and a conference record of 1-8, good for eighth in the NCAC. It was a tough but "never say die" season for the Yeowomen whose positive attitude led them to many accomplishments.
"We began the season with a .500 record [for] the first ten games, but we had a lot of ups and downs," said Durham-Hammer. "I appreciate how my teammates and coaches stayed positive and how they kept trying to make adjustments to win."
There were some great moments in the season," said Durham-Hammer. "There's the Muskingum game that we won in the last two minutes. There's Kenyon that we played very close against, and the Wittenberg game that was very well played. We did some really good things. It was all overshadowed by what happened at the end of the season, but that doesn't take away from what we did accomplish," she said.
Statistically, the team did very well for the season. Goalie Julie Noyes had 162 saves for an average of nine per game. Senior Maia Skutel had 34 shots, four goals, 12 assists and 12 points. Sophomore Susan Axeen had 25 shots, one goal, three assists and five points. First-year Emilie Walker had seven shots, one goal, one assist and three points. First-year Hannah Furgiuele had 16 shots, two goals, and four points. Jessa Klotz had seven shots, one goal, one assist and three points. Sophomore Kelli Gaughan had two shots, one assist and one point. Sophomore Stephanie White had 10 shots, one assist and one point. Last but not least, Kanuch finished as one of the conference's top scoring leaders with 12 goals, two assists, 26 points and an average of 1.37 points per game. During the season she also earned NCAC Player of the Week honors.
"I really enjoyed the season. I think that the girls this year really came together," said Kanuch. "It felt more like a team than previous years. Next year I want to step it up and be a major contributor to the team."
A team can't function without a great leader and new head coach Jane Wildman successfully fulfilled that role. "Coach Wildman had a difficult job. She had to come into a growing program," said Durham-Hammer. "She had to figure out what was going on and who everyone was. It was tough but she knows what we're all about and we know what she's all about, so I have no doubt that the team will get better with her at the lead," said Durham-Hammer.
"As a first year [coach] I think she did really well, but I think she was a little too worried about making sure she was accepted by the team I think next year she'll really step it up, and we'll bring home some more wins," said Kanuch.
The Yeowomen must say heartbreaking good-byes to Durham-Hammer and Skutel, the team's two seniors. These two women were not only impressive athletes, but they also helped to build a stronger and successful program. "I'm really happy that the soccer program, especially Coach [Blake] New, was persistent at getting me to play soccer - even though I dissed them for two years," said Skutel."The seniors were huge contributors to our team. Katie dominated the defensive end while Maia controlled the offensive. They will be greatly missed," said Kanuch.
The Yeowomen had an enjoyable season with a few tough times, but there was a noticeable improvement from last year. "I have confidence that the team will continue to improve," said Durham-Hammer. This reporter is personally very proud of the team and looks forward to seeing them again next season.
Copyright © 1999, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 128, Number 8, November 5, 1999
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