Lady Colonel’s soccer (5-1-1) shoots one game at a time


Nicole Gaetani

Dianna Connor Senior Soccer Player

Seven games into the season with a record of 5-1-1, things are looking good for the Wilkes Lady Colonels soccer team.

After game one against Penn State Berks ended in a tie, the team went on a four game win streak, defeating Muhlenberg College, Marywood University, William Paterson University and Penn Tech. Both Muhlenberg and William Paterson gave Wilkes losses in the previous season. 

The team’s most recent game against Arcadia University on Saturday gave the women’s soccer team their fifth win of the season. Arcadia is yet another team that delivered a loss to the record of the 2016 Lady Colonels. 

Senior Micaela Oliverio said, “Our goals are surrounded around winning the MAC championship. We take each game one at a time so we don’t get caught up in the bigger picture. Every game is important to us and whether we win or lose, we learn from it.”

The team’s goals of winning the MAC look promising after as good of a start as they have had. However, they have yet to see any competition within the MAC Freedom conference.

As Oliverio mentioned, it is important that they take each game as they come. A key for the team to continue with their success this season is to not look ahead to the future, and focus only on their next opponent.

Their next game is home against the University of Scranton. The result of this game should really give a good idea of how much the Lady Colonels soccer team has improved since last season because Scranton had beaten them 4-0 in the 2016 soccer season.

“I can’t really pinpoint exactly what is different this year than previous years,” said Oliverio. “I think our bond is stronger as a team and, as a whole, we have developed mentally and physically stronger. Our coaches have changed up people’s positions and brought in new formations.”

A huge contributing factor to the improvement of the team could very well be the strong bond between all of the teammates that Oliverio discussed. 

“We are all very close, we spend everyday together,” senior Dianna Connor said. “We are a family, a close group of girls. It’s awesome to watch each other grow over the years. We have each other’s backs no matter, we stick together.”

A team is supposed to be one cohesive group that works fluently together.  Without this strong personal bond and connection that it appears the women’s soccer team at Wilkes has developed with each other, there would be no groundwork laid down for the team to be successful.

“Our culture as a Wilkes women’s soccer player revolves around our five core values: fitness, ambition, integrity, teamwork, and effort. We go to every practice and game with these values in mind. In fact, they are even prominent off of the field,” said Oliverio.

In addition to the team’s bond, it seems that a clear set of values for the team has also helped direct the team in a strong and positive direction this season.

As Oliverio said, they take these values into consideration both on and off the field. Whether it is in a classroom or in competition, the Lady Colonels soccer team has a vivid image that they want their whole team to stand for and represent.

Those values are a good way for the team’s players to keep themselves in check and allow its members to make sure that their actions align with their values. 

Having those set values for all to know will help allow each member to focus on the same things while at the same time hold each other accountable to support and represent those shared values.

“I think the team chemistry is different, our coach’s attitude along with everyone’s attitude is very positive. Having Elliot [the women’s soccer graduate assistant] help coach is great. We are approaching things differently with our formation and our style of play. The atmosphere is completely different in the best way,” said Connor.

From the physical aspects of soccer to the mental, it seems like the team has made immense changes throughout.  All changes have been positive and seem to have been beneficial to the players and coaches.

The 2017 Lady Colonels seems to have taken a fresh and new outlook on their approach to the game and it has worked very well for them so far this season. 

“The goal is to win,” said Connor. “We all have winning the MAC to be our biggest goal. In order to achieve this, the team must be working as a unit, we take one game at a time, and keep working hard and pushing each other during practice because that’s where it starts.”

Winning the MAC is quite obviously an overarching goal that the entire team has, but in order to get on top, they need to overcome a few tough obstacles in teams like Desales, Fairleigh Dickinson and Misericordia.

Their first MAC opponent is Delaware Valley, but as the players said, they should not let themselves look too far ahead and focus only on whoever their very next opponent is.

As the year progresses and they inch closer and closer toward the MAC Freedom tournament, it will be very interesting to see how they do against the tougher competition in the MAC. Each day brings them closer to their overall team goal of taking the title of 2017 MAC Freedom Champions.