The women’s soccer team looks to exceed expectations once again in this 2016 season.
The Comets finished 2015 with a record of 11-6-3, losing to Calvin in the MIAA tournament semifinals.
Second-year coach Kim McGowan went into this year with 12 new recruits. Nearing the end of the season, Olivet sits at a record of 8-7-1 overall and a MIAA record of 6-6-1.
The Comets are in fifth place of the MIAA standings with three games left in the season as of press time.
A scorching start
The 2016 campaign started off strong as freshman Ashley Romanowski found the back of the net three times in the Comets 6-0 shutout against Bluffton (Ohio) at the Cutler Athletic Complex. Junior Isabelle Leon netted two goals in the season opener, along with an assist to sophomore Emma Essen’s goal.
Olivet then traveled to play another out-of-conference opponent on Sept. 3 at Elmhurst (Illinois), where the team was shutout 3-0. The next day, Olivet won against North Park in Chicago by a score of 2-1. Freshman Abby Radcliffe and Romanowski scored the two goals, capping off the Illinois road trip.
MIAA play began for the Comets on Sept. 7 with a game at Adrian. A 1-1 score sent the game into extra minutes, with both goals coming in the first half. Essen scored the goal at the end of the second half, answering Adrian’s early goal. Olivet tied the Bulldogs after two periods of overtime, the only tie of the season so far for the Comets.
Two following road matches for the women’s soccer team ended up as two more wins. The Comets scored seven goals against St. Mary’s (Indiana) in South Bend Sept. 10, three of which coming from Leon. Other goals for Olivet came from Junior Emily Reinecke, Essen, Romanowski, and junior Miranda Quick. Olivet traveled to Alma Sept. 15, defeating the Scots 3-2 in a comeback win. All three goals came in the second half of regulation, and freshman goalkeeper Brooklyn Burel made 9 saves from the 19 shots she faced.
A 4-1 loss came next for the team at Albion on Sept. 24, with Leon erasing the shutout in the second half with her goal in the 61 minute. Her performance for the week was recognized with the MIAA Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week Award. "I feel like we have an upper hand just because we have more passion to win." Said Leon on her teams performance in 2016