With the first month of school coming to a close, the Muhlenberg Women’s soccer team is 4-2-0 and on their road up from a rough past few games.
The Lady Mules started the season off strong, winning four straight shutout games against tough competitors. Although they wanted to bring that winning momentum with them, the Lady Mules took a hard 1-0 loss against Moravian on Sept. 11.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, the Lady Mules traveled to Lancaster, PA for their first Centennial Conference game where they would take on the 4-1-1 Franklin & Marshall team.
The women started the game off strong, outshooting Franklin & Marshall with 12 shots to three shots. However, the first half was to no avail for the ladies, but they remained determined, pushing the ball and taking control.
The Mules fought hard all throughout, but a goal in the 39 minute for the Diplomats proved to be all that was needed to give them the 1-0 win.
Forward and midfielder Mia Mulin ‘21, however, is hopeful about the team’s near future. “Getting back into the win column is going to be a challenge with some tough opponents on the road ahead. It’s going to take a lot of grit and heart in our upcoming games to score goals and have a solid defense,” said Mulin.
Mulin and her team look to their coaching staff, especially to second year head coach, Coach Kelly Wakeman. “Coach Wakeman has really emphasized bringing what we do in practice to our games. She encourages us to ‘stick to our game’ and keep a positive attitude during our matches. The payoff from working hard in practices will show in games,” Mulin said.
The team looks to their practices for perseverance in each other and in their coaches.
However, while they did start the season strong, Mulin and the rest of the team have no plans to change their attitude.
“It was a tough loss for us being our first conference match, but we’re already looking ahead at our next match against Haverford. We’re preparing to come out to fight and play hard. This loss against F&M motivates us to be hungry in the next game, and becomes a game we can learn from,” Mulin said
For Mulin, it’s all about learning and growing from the past. She plans to take away the important lessons she has learnt from the past two losses and use them to bring the team back to winning.
Like Mulin, Carly Shaffer ‘21 also looks to bring the team back onto a winning track. “To get back into a winning streak, we need to be confident and play our game of soccer. In high intensity games, we occasionally lose our style of play, but when we set the pace of the game, things fall into place. In the last game we had great opportunities on goal but we just couldn’t finish. We will look to continue finding those opportunities and hitting the back of the net.” said Shaffer.
Shaffer had one shot, almost heading the ball for a goal that would tie the game for the Lady Mules.
Shaffer relies on her teammates and coaching staff, using their advice to get her through this hard time.
“Our coach often reminds us to question ourselves why we play the game of soccer,” said Shaffer. “It all goes back to the quote by Mia Hamm, who said, ‘Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back…play for her.’ As a team and coaching staff we constantly look to motivate ourselves and stay positive.”
The team looks to pick themselves up as they play their next Centennial Conference game on Wednesday, Sept. 25, traveling to Haverford, PA to take on Haverford.
“Losing a game is always tough mentally, but as a team we are confident in our abilities to overcome this adversity. Despite the loss, we are excited and looking forward to the next game to compete. We have a lot of potential this season and we are ready to show the conference who we are,” said Shaffer.
Record is accurate as of production date.