Loggers battle multiple injuries to stay in the game
Despite recent injuries which have sidelined veteran players, the women’s soccer team displayed resilience and a fierce competitive spirit Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday Sept. 25 against Whitworth and Whitman. Playmaker Christine Isabella (Salt Lake City, Utah) is one of five healthy seniors on the roster.
She has been an impact player since the start of this season with a hat trick and an assist against Willamette.
“Though we’re only in our second week of conference play, this season has already been a hard one. We’ve been forced to change our system and lineup multiple times as a result of injuries,” Isabella said.
Key players and senior leaders on the field Theresa Henle (Issaquah, Wash.) and Stefani Vert (Burien, Wash.) were badly injured earlier this season. “In addition, we have a goalkeeper with a dislocated thumb, a freshman with an ankle injury and another with a broken collarbone, and we have had illnesses here and there that have kept girls out of games. Needless to say, everyone on this team has been taking on unexpected roles this season,” Isabella said.
“Currently, our healthy roster consists of five seniors, six sophomores, and eight first-year players. It’s been exciting to see so many young players with versatility and willingness to learn new positions and step up to fill the necessary roles on and off the field.
“With only six returning starters from last year’s team, it’s taken a lot of time and hard work to put the pieces together, but we’re learning each weekend what we need to work on to be the very best we can with this year’s team. Based on the progress we’ve made in the three short weeks since our first game against Cal Lutheran, I’m looking forward to seeing us reach our full potential,” Isabella said.
On Sept. 24 the Logger women came out strong against Whitworth. Sophomore Kylie Beeson (Everett, Wash.) found the net early with a goal in the ninth minute. In the 29th minute, senior Mikaela Freeman (Alameda, Calif.) shot a beautiful ball from 25 yards out. Isabella scored to give the Loggers a 3-0 lead from a corner kick sent by freshman Maddie Janssen (Lakewood, Colo.)
The Loggers carried their momentum into Sunday’s game against the Whitman Missionaries. Even though they were outshot by the Missionaries 20-8, it was the Loggers who were able to capitalize on their only shot on goal during the match. Isabella once again found the back of the net in the last six minutes of the game with the help of sophomore Lauren Swanson (Eagle, Idaho) and senior Abby Goss (Spokane, Wash.) Sophomore Kara Merfeld (Bellingham, Wash.) made nine saves in the match to earn her second shutout of the season.
Next Wednesday the Loggers (5-2, 3-1 NWC) will travel to play cross-town rival Pacific Lutheran and return home for a game against George Fox on Saturday.