Close Page

Women's soccer makes program history with trip to nationals

Sports
By Carlos Guzman
Nov 15, 2016

This feat came only after a drawn-out match with No. 12 Baker University on Nov. 8. The teams tied at 1-1 through overtime, and after winning a penalty kick shootout 7-6, MNU earned an automatic qualification to the national tournament.

Before the Pioneers had a chance to punch its ticket to nationals, head coach Skelly Kellar said that the team had a main goal - which it has now been accomplished.

“When I first took over the program the team had only been in the conference playoffs one time in the last 11 years,” Kellar said. “Our whole goal is to get to the conference playoffs… past the semifinals, [and play in] the finals to give us a chance to go to nationals.”

Since Kellar became the head coach, the team had advanced to the semifinals for the past three years but had not advanced to the conference championship game until this year’s playoff win over Baker. This victory allowed the team to advance to the conference title match. Though the team has achieved a historic season for the program, the players are still shooting for postseason success. According to Kellar, the team does very well in many areas but still needs to work on the details.

“It’s kind of a double-edged sword,” Kellar said. “I think our possession is really good. I think we keep the ball for long stretches of time. We do a good job of utilizing all of the field,” Kellar said. “I still think if we could improve on something, it’s being more clinical in front of the goal.”

Kellar said that one of the things that makes the team unique and successful is the great leadership displayed by the seniors. This year’s seniors will be Kellar’s first group that he has coached for their entire careers at MNU.The team gathers at midfield after beating Baker University in a penalty kick shootout. The Pioneers’ next match will be at Reinhardt University (Ga.) on Nov. 19. Photo by Monique Elias.The team gathers at midfield after beating Baker University in a penalty kick shootout. The Pioneers’ next match will be at Reinhardt University (Ga.) on Nov. 19. Photo by Monique Elias.

On both sides of the ball, the players share the same goals and expectations for the remainder of the postseason. Senior forward Denise Dantzler said that she thinks that the team has the unique ability to be able to play anyone and rise to meet any level of competition.

“We have so many different ways that we can score,” Dantzler said. “I think that’s what defines a good team: not relying on a star player.”

Sophomore defender Alexa Hyzdu said the team’s athleticism and the ability to come together as one unit on and off the field is what sets them apart from the rest.

“We have a lot of talent. We have a lot of athletic people that can get the job done,” Hyzdu said. “If everyone’s working hard and working together it’s very evident that we can succeed.”

Hyzdu said that the team most needs to improve on its consistency and that the team does not always live up to its potential. Dantzler argued that the team most needed to improve in its seriousness.

“I don’t think we train as hard as we [should] or we train too hard,” Dantzler said. “We need a healthy medium. Just to keep it consistent with how we approach practice and training.”

Junior left wing Steffi Krohn said the team must “learn to be more dangerous in the front [of the goal]. We also need to make sure we come in fit and ready for nationals physically as well as mentally.”

The Pioneers now look forward to nationals and a chance to continue to achieve new milestones for the program. The Pioneers will face Reinhardt University on Nov. 19 in Waleska, Georgia. This game in the opening round of the national championship tournament will determine whether or not the team will advance to Orange Beach, Alabama to continue in tournament play.

 

Carlos Guzman

- More by this author

Carlos Guzman ('19) is a sophomore at MNU.  He is from Overland Park, KS.  He is the Opinion Editor for The Trail Blazer.  He is a biology major with an emphasis in pre-medicine and is also pursuing a minor degree in Youth and Family Ministry.  He aspires to become a physician.  Carlos is also on the cross country and track and field team.  

comments powered by Disqus
In this edition of The Forum, MNU student Brandon Baker and The Trailblazer editor-in-chief Joshua Brisco debate whether or not it is a good idea to get married while in college.

The Forum: Marriage in college?

In this edition of The Forum, MNU student Brandon Baker and The Trailblazer editor-in-chief Joshua Brisco debate whether or not it is a good idea to get married while in college. (To view The Forum at a larger size, click here.)

New head volleyball coach Christina Ludwick stands in front of last season’s Heart of America Conference championship banner. Now, Ludwick says she is seeking to build on last season’s success. Photo by Chace Owen.

MNU hires new head volleyball coach

As the first full-time coaching hire since MNU lost four head coaches this winter, Christina Ludwick is looking to keep Pioneer volleyball set for success.

Police respond to a shooting at Pulse, an Orlando Nightclub, on June 12, 2016. Omar Mateen was classified a terrorist, and no statement on his mental health was provided by the media. Photo by The City of Orlando Police Department, via Wikimedia Commons.

Holding the culture accountable

What happens when terrorists and lone wolves are separated by skin tone.

A graph showing MNU’s financial trends from the past 10 years. Student payments and grants have both increased throughout the past 10 years at MNU. Graphic by Blake Bradford.

Dealing with student debt

The reality facing MNU students and how to come out on top.

 

Video: Cross-breeding flies in MNU biology department

Dr. William Morrison gives insight into a fly cross-breeding experiment and sophomore biology major Carlos Guzman collects flies to determine genetic patterns. 

Donald Trump visits Hershey, Pennsylvania in December 2016 on his post-election victory tour. Trump’s rise through the Republican Party has effectively silenced any moderate voices within the party. Photo by Michael Vadon, via Wikimedia Commons.

New GOP leaves no room for middle ground

The Republican Party is becoming dangerously hostile toward moderate conservatives.

Last year’s SERVEteam Squad 66 operated under the leadership of Kevin Borger and Kayla Cook, both of whom resigned this semester. Ana Brunk and Andrew Cornelius will be returning to the team this summer. Photo by Andrew Cornelius.

SERVEteams left with uncertain leadership

The 2017 summer SERVEteams are currently without leadership following the departure of department head Kevin Borger. The teams are heading into the summer with no replacement.

Shelby Frans bats in the first home game of the season against Washburn University (Kansas). Frans said she admires the fact that interim head coach Rob Wade makes an effort to build a relationship with every player. Photo by Jim Smith.

MNU softball rides coaching carousel

With two official and two interim head coaches in eight months, softball seeks to stabilize in 2017.

The MNU track and field team poses for a photo with its new banners and trophies. Both the men’s and women’s teams won the 2017 Heart of America indoor track and field conference championships in February. Photo courtesy of MNU track and field.

Inside and out, MNU track and field in the running for titles

Track and field finishes the indoor season with two conference titles and four All-Americans.

Videos / See More