IWU women’s soccer bounce back resiliently

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Jeff Neukom

 

Addition through subtraction – the idea that in order to make something better, or perhaps to make it work more effectively, you must take something away. It might seem counterintuitive, but maybe a team needs to lose a game in order to win a game. The Titans did just that this past weekend, bouncing back from a 1-0 defeat at Wisconsin-Whitewater to trounce Transylvania 5-0.

Wisconsin-Whitewater scored early, with Brianna Reid notching a goal in the eighth minute of play. The Titans were not able to generate much offense, limited to only four shots versus 12 for the Warhawks.

“We struggled a little bit with our formation at Whitewater mainly because we weren’t sure how to break their defense down at first. We weren’t connecting through the middle in the first half and this was causing us a lot of problems,” said sophomore forward Skyler Tomko. “Once we were able to figure it out, we adjusted our formation and started getting more chances.”

Rather than point fingers or levy accusations, the team instead got back to work the next few days in preparation for a rebound game against the Pioneers of Transylvania.

“I think losing 1-0 to Whitewater was a good eye-opener for our team. Come conference time we are going to be playing close games like that regularly and we need to learn how to finish in big games when the stakes are high… and come back from an early deficit if needed,” Tomko said.

Luckily, the Titans did not need any come-from-behind heroics against Transylvania. They jumped out to an early lead as Tomko led the way with two goals. Senior Tess Bottorff opened the scoring off an assist from Sydney Fox, and it was all Illinois Wesleyan University from there. Senior Julie Govedarica found the back of the net soon after, making it clear that this would not be a repeat of the disconnect that had derailed their chances against the Warhawks.

Tomko scored the next two for the Titans, bringing her season tally to eight goals. After being awarded Offensive Player of the Week Sept. 9, she has maintained a high level of play.

“I think treating each game as an important game really helps me stay motivated and wanting to help my team out in any way that I can increases my desire to score,” Tomko said.

The Titans moved to 6-2-0 on the season, powered by their resilient spirit and incisive feeds from players like Julie Govedarica, sophomore Amanda Kaiser and junior Sydney Fox, and it sure doesn’t hurt having a goal-hungry forward to boot.

While a loss to a well-known foe is not exactly desirable, perhaps it will pay dividends for the Titans. They are rapidly approaching conference time, where seasons are won and lost and dreams are realized and crushed. With a resounding 5-0 victory at Neis Field, it appears the Titans are ready to improve on their previous form that led to a five-game win streak.