Women’s soccer blasts opponents with record-breaking wins

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Something is going right with the women’s soccer team. They are currently ranked third in the nation and only have one loss on their record to conference rivals Dallas Baptist.

On Oct. 4, the Hilltoppers recovered from this loss by beating St. Mary’s in the annual Battle of the Saints match on enemy turf. For the most part, the scores of their winning games have been two things: extremely high and scored by freshman players.

On Sept. 20, they dominated The University of Texas of the Permian Basin with an 8-0 game, on Sept. 22 they shutout McMurry 6-0 and on Sept. 29, despite Oklahoma Christian’s home field advantage, they blasted them with a 7-0 win.

“I feel like since we have a young team this year, it has worked to our advantage,” junior goalkeeper Danielle Licarione said. “Everyone works hard and plays hard for each other, and hopefully that mentality will carry on even after I graduate.”

One of the team’s top scorers agrees that this year is different from the others.

“We have better team chemistry this year than we ever have had before,” junior Rachel Murray said. “It’s a lot easier to play together on the field when you know that you can trust all of the girls on the team.”

A first-rate team creates an atmosphere where everyone can be focused when it is necessary.

“There’s a sense of confidence when we are out there together,” Murray said. “There are expectations that we have for each other, and it is awesome trusting that anyone that is on the field can get the job done.”

But the team cannot build a relationship by being serious all the time.

“Even though half of our team is completely new, we act as if we’ve all been best friends for years,” Licarione said. “Whenever we are off the field, we find fun wherever we are, and there’s never a dull moment with this team. ”

The important thing, then, is to create a serious team with playful dimensions.

“We have a ton of fun together. It’s these times that bring us closest together,” Murray said. “Being able to be goofy and embarrassing in front of your teammates is what brings us closest together, so we like to do things like bus karaoke, where everyone has to sing and dance.”

The test of their kinship comes when going head to head against another strong team.

“Those are the games I look forward to the most,” Murray said. “There is a different sense of intensity and passion when we have those big games coming up, and it is always exciting to have a new challenge. When I’m in the game, I don’t think about how I’m doing things. The only thing that I’m thinking about is what I can do to make sure that we can win.”

Feisty and committed, the women’s soccer team does not suffer from a lack of dreams, and, at the rate they are going right now, achieving those dreams is not too far-fetched.

“We want to go to the national championship, and we have what it takes to make it,” Licarione said. “I’m so proud of our team so far; everybody on our team has contributed to our current and future success.”

The team has two home games scheduled soon as they face off against two familiar faces: Newman College on Oct. 11 at 1:00 p.m. and Oklahoma Christian on Oct. 13. at noon.