Men’s and Women’s Soccer Conclude 2018 Season
The Beloit College Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams finished their seasons on October 27 in De Pere, Wisconsin against the St. Norbert College Green Knights. Both teams dropped their final match with the women losing 2-1 and the men losing 7-1. The women put up a strong fight, keeping the scoring at 0-0 until St. Norbert broke it open early in the second half. The men held the Green Knights in check for the first half but ultimately surrendered five goals after halftime.
Both of St. Norbert’s teams qualified for the Midwest Conference tournament with the men finishing the regular season 16-0-1. The Beloit women finished the season 5-10-1 and were 4-5 in MWC play, while the men finished 4-13-1 and were 2-7 in conference games.
The Round Table was fortunate to get in contact with players from both of Beloit’s teams and get some perspective on how they felt the season went. On the women’s side, Nikki Hebel’19 and Candance Cunningham’19 sat down for a chat. Although both players felt the season didn’t end how they would have liked, they thought that this season was a great experience.
“Despite everything, I’m so glad I got to share my soccer experience at Beloit College with this team—they’re the best group of people I know,” said Hebel.
Cunningham seconded Hebel’s comment saying “I have never been on a team that has truly felt like a family like this team has for me. Being a part of a senior class with nine people was a family in itself.”
Since both Hebel and Cunningham are graduating, I asked them how they saw the future of the program going. Both felt that the future is bright due to their young talent and coach Connor McKee.
“I truly think that this program will continue to grow through the players and Coach Connor McKee. He changed this program in more ways than I can count, and he will continue to provide each player with the skills and mentality they need to succeed,” said Cunningham.
Hebel said she feels “absolutely comfortable” with the younger classes taking over the team. “I have seen so much skill and love of soccer from all of them, and I’m excited to see how the team will evolve as new leaders come up.”
The pair both looked fondly on their careers at Beloit and were thankful for the opportunity to be part of the team.
For the men’s team, I spoke with Jose Gutierrez’19. Gutierrez has been an essential part of the Bucs squad for the past four years. However, after dealing with a groin and hip flexor injury for much of the season he was forced to remove himself from the team with four games left in the season.
This was a challenging decision for Gutierrez, but he said, “My team received me with full support and positive messages. I would not have made it through the season without my teammates.”
There were two major driving forces behind Gutierrez’s decision: the pain the injury caused him and his professional soccer aspirations. Gutierrez has a professional tryout lined up in mid-November.
For the team as a whole, this season was not what the men had hoped for at the beginning of the year. “We didn’t meet our main goal which was to make the conference tournament” said Gutierrez.
However, he remained optimistic about the future adding “the freshman class was good this year and if they continue to bring in good players I’m sure they can be successful in the future. So long as they continue to work hard and have that winning mentality.” The men will be graduating five of their 26 players this year.
Although neither of the teams achieved their goals for the 2018 season, both will continue to work hard to achieve their goal of a conference championship this off season and into next fall.