After the first ten games of the season the Bethel women’s soccer team has managed to attain a 4-6 overall record and a 1-2 record in the Mid-Central Conference. Although the team is just slightly under the .500 mark, they have battled in a number of hard fought games. The Pilots have only lost by more than one goal twice this season and those losses were against nationally ranked teams. No. 21 Olivet Nazarene blanked the Pilots 4-0 and No. 11 Indiana Wesleyan beat them 4-2 on Oct. 6 at Bethel.
Throughout the first ten games the Pilots have scored 13 goals. They’ve been shutout three times. Junior Amber Spencer has been a solid leader for Bethel this season. Spencer is off to a hot start, leading the team with four goals so far. Lindsey Hyduk and Meridith Martin have been just one step behind Spencer, each putting up two goals apiece. Pua Hall, Caitlin Weeks, and Shelby Faltynski have also found the back of the net this season.
Defensively, the Pilots have given up 15 goals this season. They had a stretch early in the season where they had three shutouts in a row. Leading the way is senior goalkeeper Elyse Powell. Powell is averaging a staggering 6 saves per game which ranks first in the conference in this statistical category.
The season began for the Lady Pilots on Sept. 4, when they opened up against Davenport University at home. Unfortunately the Pilots suffered a 2-1 heartbreaking loss which went into double overtime. However, they were able to recover quickly as they won their next three games by a combined score of 7-0. They knocked off Indiana Tech 1-0, Cardinal Stritch University 2-0, and Saint Mary’s of the Woods College 4-0. The Saint Mary’s College of the Woods was a solid victory for the Pilots as they were able to score 4 goals in the final five minutes of the game. The Pilots then went on to drop their next four games, only scoring one goal during that time span. Fortunately for the Pilots, they were able to recover and earn a 2-1 win over Goshen, before falling to Indiana Wesleyan. The loss pushed their conference record to 1-2.
As a whole, Powell is pleased with the team’s performance up to this point in the season.
“Our team has performed especially well as a whole,” said Powell. “We feed off each other and build our attack together in order to reach our ultimate goal to score. Even those who are off the bench are supporting us and pushing us to keep fighting to the final whistle. Each position on our team has equally contributed to move the ball up the field and eventually get on the scoreboard.”
The remainder of their season consists of all conference games and plenty of time for the team to make some legitimate noise in the MCC regular season and tournament. They already have a win over Goshen and will head to Taylor on Oct. 13. Following the Taylor matchup, the Pilots will host both Spring Arbor and Marian before traveling to Saint Francis to close out the regular season.. The MCC Tournament is scheduled to begin October 31, which is when the Pilots will try to bring home a Mid-Central Conference Tournament Championship.
“To come out on top of conference this season, we need to come out with intensity and focus,” stated Powell. “We need to have the confidence and will to win. As a team, we need to worry about playing sharp as a team and taking advantage of every scoring opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net. We pray that God allows us to play to our full potential so we can give Him the glory with the gift He has given us.”