With the penalty-kick viagra super active plus playoff loss to the UOIT Ridgebacks, the women’s soccer season that started with much promise has come to an abrupt end.
At the halfway point of the season, McMaster was 2-4-2, with two of those ties coming against nationally ranked opponents. But during the first of two matches against the Western Mustangs – and the eighth game of the season – team captain Sophia Ykema suffered a concussion. The team would manage a tie but lost control of the season without their leader.
Inconsistency became the weakness, with McMaster unable to sustain any momentum game-to-game. A game head coach Brett Mosen described as the “worst performance in my three-year career here” followed a solid outing on the road against the Windsor Lancers. McMaster took on a York team they were battling for playoff position, and won 2-1. The next day, they threw up a dud and lost 1-0 to the UOIT Ridgebacks, starting a three-game slide.
To call this a lost season would be sensationalizing it. A struggle through the second part of the jam-packed season is to be expected when your roster is comprised mostly of first- and second-year players. At the beginning of the season, both Mosen and Ykema had foresight to see that the level of physicality and number of games would take its toll on the younger players.
What they could not foresee however was the sheer number of injuries the team suffered. Ykema’s concussion recovery took a month instead of the typical two weeks, Taylor Davis suffered an ankle injury before the season opener and then injured her quad immediately after. Goalkeeper Brittany Duffey missed two games in early September. Stephanie Davis, who was second on the team in scoring, missed two games later in the year also.
Those injuries are all to players with at least a year of experience, so the missed games just compounded the growing pains for first-year players. But it will pay off in the future. Having games under the belt is a key to developing players. Watching from the sidelines has benefits, but getting in the action is arguably more important. For proof, you can look to the aforementioned group of players, who all gained on-field experience in their first year.
The end of the 2013 campaign marks the start of something. What that “something” turns out to be is in the hands of a team who saw their capabilities in the first eight games of the season. The ceiling for a squad of this age, with a captain who has two years of eligibility left, with a defensive group and goalkeeper who have an abundance of experience, with a rookie who is on the Rookie of the Year shortlist after leading the Maroon crew in goals, is a CIS national tournament berth. Anything less is to sell the accomplishments short.
The men’s soccer team is currently second in the nation and have sights set on a CIS championship. With the right amount of work, it should not be long before the women’s squad is in a similar situation.