By Will Rosson
The women’s soccer season came to an end Tuesday night as they fell short 2-0 against nationally ranked Kansas Wesleyan in the semi-finals of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
In horrible weather conditions, near 30 degree temperatures, wind, rain, sleet and even snow near the end of the game, the Lady Builders left it all on the field.
Joe Wood, head women’s soccer coach, thought the weather actually gave his team an edge.
“We actually had girls with symptoms of hypothermia. It was very cold. So after the game we had to get warmed up, but they were okay. It wasn’t too serious,” said Wood.
With the season coming to an end, it is obvious that the Lady Builders of the 2011 season were much improved from the 2010 season. Finishing at the bottom of the KCAC last season, the team held its place in the top four of the KCAC throughout this season. At one point, they were tied for second place.
“We had players with heart at every game,” said Wood.
“We are a young team, with seven freshmen in our lineup. We had two great captains in our lone senior players, Katie Bipes, and Morgan Constantine. We weren’t that team that had nine or ten players working hard and the others sitting and doing nothing. We had every player working together. Playing with heart is contagious, ” said Wood.
With 10 wins this season, the Lady Builders became the most winning team in SC history. Not only did they make history with the most wins, but for only the second time, they made it to the semi-finals of the KCAC tournament.
The team played together and with heart, but also had great leadership in team captains senior defender Morgan Constantine, and senior midfielder Katie Bipes.
“This team was so successful because everyone worked for each other,” said Bipes. “When you have a team that is willing to put in the work for the person standing next to them, great things happen. As a senior captain, I am so proud of our success as a young team, especially after the season we had last year.”
The last game Bipes played in Richard L. Jantz stadium, the game that moved the Lady Builders into the semi-finals of the KCAC tournament, was her favorite memory of the season.
Both Woods and Bipes believe they have a young team with tremendous talent. One of the standout players of the season was freshman forward Kaci Hutchinson. Hutchinson’s six goals made her the leading scorer. She also led assists.
“My credit goes to all of my coaches, starting with my first coach I ever had, my mom. They put in time and effort to make me a better player. I also think a lot of it goes to Joe Wood. He is an outstanding coach that pushes us to be better with a positive attitude,” said Hutchinson.
The 2011 season may have ended, but it ends on a positive note. Going from the bottom of the KCAC to the top, and with a young team that played with heart every game, the Lady Builders showed the KCAC they were a team that wasn’t to be taken lightly.
“This was probably the smartest team I have ever coached here,” said Wood. “I don’t think the talent of this young team is going to drop between now and next season. It’s only going be get better and we will pick up right where we left off.”
Will Rosson is a senior majoring in communication. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.