The Bruins women’s soccer team has displayed a high level of play this fall with a record of 6-4, building on their win of the NCCAA national tournament last season.
“Team chemistry is good, and they push each other to be their very best,” head coach Chris Carmichael said.
“We’re all meshing well,” said Christiana Young, one of the team’s goalies and a sophomore history major. “Coach stresses one team, one heartbeat.”
Carmichael said the team hasn’t felt pressure to live up to last season’s success.
“We just take one game at a time and keep learning from each game experience,” Carmichael said.
“We don’t worry about the losses and just give everything we can to win. If it works out [that’s] great, and if not, we learn and appreciate our opponents for making us a better team with each match we play.”
The team hopes to win the South Regional Tournament, which will be played here on campus Oct. 27-29, so the team can move on to play the NCCAA National Championship in November.
Carmichael said his goal is for the team to continue to get technically and tactically sharper.
“We need to do a better job of being patient with our possession and letting the possession, creativity and combination play open up scoring opportunities,” Carmichael said.
Young said the team needs to work on establishing an early rhythm of play in the games.
“Soccer is a game of complexity. It takes 90 minutes of mental focus to perform well,” Carmichael said.
But the team doesn’t focus only on winning the game.
Carmichael views soccer as a platform for evangelism and looks forward to opportunities for his team to use the game for God’s glory.
“We strive to be the best leaders and servants as we attempt to exemplify what it means to be a Christian collegiate athlete,” Carmichael said.
Carmichael has seen his players put each other’s interests before their own.
“Our returners have done a great job mentoring our new players.”
Eight freshmen joined the team this season and are acclimating well to the demands of playing for the Bruins.
“They seem to have hit it running and are doing very well,” Carmichael said.
The returning players and upperclassmen have been doing a good job helping the new players with soccer as well as academics.
“The upperclassmen are always willing to listen and help,” Young said.
“They are really good at mentoring us and they don’t act superior to us.”