Grizzlies turn tide with conference wins against four schools

By Taylor Wooten

The Franklin College Women’s Soccer team suffered nine losses and had one tie in the games leading up to their 4-0 win against Defiance College Oct. 5. 

The team is now on an upward slope from their rough beginning after multiple wins against Bluffton, Manchester and Anderson Universities. 

The highlight of the first win against Defiance was a hat trick by freshman Elaina Page, who was subsequently given her first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week title Oct. 8. 

“I just think we worked really well as a team together, and we wanted to win our first conference game really bad,” Page said. “So, I feel like as a team we just knew what we had to do, and we scored.” 

The current record of the women’s soccer team is 4-10-1, while their conference record is 4-1. The non-conference schedule included a number of difficult teams. Freshman defensive player Mackenzie Bergman said the team’s approach to their initial poor performance is what set them on a new track toward growth. 

“At the beginning it was kind of rough because we shouldn’t be used to losing, but I think being able to come together as a team has helped us a lot and being able to trust each other,” Bergman said. “We’ve come over difficult times, and the connections that we have are getting stronger.” 

Bergman, who played for the same travel soccer team for four years, said the biggest challenge coming to Franklin was learning how her new teammates play as well as building trust with them. 

“We were able to stay composed defen- sively in those games and not give the other team chances,” senior Lexi Short said about the games against Defiance and Bluffton.

“We got the job done by putting away the goals as well.” 

Out of 22 players, 15 are freshmen. On top of the team’s relative inexperience, the program is going through a period of transition as new head coach Kim DeCesare settles into her role. 

“This season has been much more of a learning experience than past seasons,” Short said. “Not only are we a young team, but we’ve also had to adjust to a new coach.” 

The team has looked to Short for leader- ship since she is a team captain. 

“With such a young team, it took some time to figure out how to play together and adjust to the level of play of college soccer for the younger girls,” Short said. “Every- thing we’ve worked on is finally coming together at the perfect time as conference is starting.” 

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