Tough-luck women's soccer just wins; streak hits six

By Kreielsheimer, Seth

No word better describes the play of the Scots’ Women’s soccer team than “impressive.” Every aspect of their play this season has been simply that. When one hears of the setbacks that the team and some players have faced this season, their story only becomes more so.The Scots (6-1, 3-0 in conference play) saw captain Anne Kintop ’08 go down with a season-ending back injury in the preseason.

“She is still an important part of the team, but it would have been much better with her on the field,” says co-captain Amy Hutchinson ’08.

After a tough loss in their first game of the season to UW Eau Claire-ranked 15th in the nation in Division III, the Scots have soared to six straight victories, highlighted by wins versus MIAC rival Carleton and a double-overtime win against St. Scholastica. Their perfect play thus far in the MIAC has earned the Scots a tie for the top spot in the conference. The only other team fighting for the spot right now is St. Benedict, who the Scots will play on October 6th in what could be a showdown of unbeatens.

The current success of this year’s team appears similar to that of former Mac teams, but according to Head Coach John Leaney, this team is “Nothing like [the others]”
“Past teams have usually been senior dominated, but this team is young,” he said. “We usually start just two seniors and three juniors, and most of the subs are either first or second year players. We are making mistakes but still winning, and it is good because we are learning from these mistakes and improving upon them.”

Three Scots are battling back from ACL injuries which all unfortunately occurred around the same time last season. Forward Grace King ’09 has fought back from her injury to have one of the hottest starts to a season in Mac history.

“I had ACL surgery ten months ago, and I am so thrilled just to be out there again,” King said. “I worked really, really hard to get back.”

That hard work has really paid off, and then some. King was recently named to the D3Kicks.com women’s soccer Team of the Week. She was also selected MIAC Player of the Week for the second time in her career.

In the Scots 1-0 victory in double-overtime against St. Scholastica, King scored the game-winning goal with just 32 seconds remaining in the game. This was one of three game-winning goals she has compiled this season. Can anybody say “clutch?”

King has a six-game scoring streak, three multi-goal performances, and leads the Scots in all offensive categories (nine goals, five assists, and twenty-three points). If she continues playing at this pace, she is set to break the Macalester records for goals scored and points, both set by Jenny Scanlon in 1992. Unlike Barry Bonds, King has not used performance-enhancing drugs in attempting to break these records.

What is even more incredible is that, “She is only playing at about 80% because she is still working her way back to full strength from the ACL injury,” as Coach Leaney said. Now that’s just scary.

Another player having a standout season is junior defender Liz Hormann ’09. “Liz has been great this year. Her play is underrated because she is a defender, but she is one of the biggest reasons for our success,” King said.

Hormann leads a defense that has limited opponents to just 32 shots on goal in seven games. Goalkeeper Jenny Lee ’09 has held opponents to an average of less than one goal per game, including three shutouts.

How about this for impressive: As of Wednesday, the Scots have not lost on their home field to another MIAC team since 1993-that’s 76 games in a row. The Scots are on fire heading towards the halfway mark, and are hoping to gain their first MIAC championship since 2005. In last season’s playoffs, the Scots were knocked out by the eventual Div. III National Champions, Wheaton College (Ill.). This year is their year. This year, they want revenge.