Italy helps women's soccer

This summer the women’s soccer team traveled to Italy to play two games and ended their trip with a win and tie. At this point in their season, Italy is serving as a lasting experience and a learning tool for their upcoming games.

“Italy was like a vacation with your best friends, but I also think this trip helped to build our team chemistry, which is huge,” said co-captian Kerri Skotnicki. “Having good team chemistry is going to help us succeed.”

The team spent numerous days together touring, sightseeing, and playing soccer, thus allotting time for a team bond to strengthen for this fall’s season.

“Italy gave us the opportunity to play with each other before pre-season, and other teams in our conference didn’t get that opportunity,” said junior midfielder Somer Druszkowski.

“One thing we really want to continue to build on from the trip is team chemistry and unity, especially as we add the freshmen to the squad,” said head coach Scott Mejia.

Getting the chance to build a team “togetherness” didn’t just take precedent during the game. It happened off the field as well.

“It was the nights we were allowed to explore the towns, and the times we sat in the cafes to talk as a team were when we really bonded,” said junior midfielder Kortney Hix.

Experiencing a team bond is only half of what the team gained, as the team also learned new skills and ways of play.

ASD Domina Neapolis was the final match of the trip for the Vikings and was the teams toughest opponent. 

“The final match we played was against an opponent who was as good as any opponent that we will see this year; so, it was a good test, and we found out a lot about what it takes to play at that level. It gave us confidence for this season,” said Mejia.

Although ASD was a tough opponent, the Vikings noticed their playing style and would like to mimic that in the 2014 season.

“If we could adapt to their quick footwork or more play more physical, it would be a benefit on our side. It is a hard style to play against because we don’t play teams in the U.S. like that,” said junior defender Stef Hamaker.

The Vikings hope to initiate these take aways in their play this season.

“The final team was able to keep composure under pressure through deliberate passing, and so, our kids walked away from the game thinking that was something they would like to emulate and apply to the way we play here,” said Mejia.

Italy gave the Vikings an experience overseas that serves as a back bone for the rest of the season as the Vikings are currently 2-1, having only lost to Loras. In the two victories, the team kept its composure against Calvin after going down early 1-0 and bouncing back in the second half to win the match 2-1.

The women’s next game is at home on September 13 against Marian.