Girls Soccer Team Stays Optimistic During Shutdown

Andrew Zienty

The 2021 senior class on the IWU Women’s soccer team. Top: (L to R) Megan O’Neil, Maureen McGrath. Middle: (L to R) Cameron Hindel, Sydney Pinder, Jehan Dib, Peyton Howe. Bottom: (L to R) Anna Eager, Kelli McCarthy.

Photo: Anna Eager 

The fall semester has been a difficult time for everybody and even more so for fall sports senior student-athletes.

For the Illinois Wesleyan University girls soccer team, it has been tough coping with the loss of their entire season with no definite plan for a replacement in the spring.

Since it could be the end of soccer for the school year, these senior athletes deserve proper recognition for their careers at IWU. Those Seniors are: Anna Eager, Cameron Hindel, Jehan Dib, Kelli McCarthy, Maureen McGrath, Megan O’Neil, Peyton Howe and Sydney Pinder

In their three seasons here at IWU, the class has a brilliant record of 46-16-2.

These seniors have also been a part of back to back conference titles, in 2018 and again in 2019.

The continued success from regular season and conference play earned the team and this senior class bids to three NCAA tournaments.

The group has seen success in all three seasons from CCIW titles to NCAA tournament play to national ranking among all DIII Women’s soccer programs.

Along with these great team successes, they have also had great individual success. Hindel has been awarded all-conference and all-region recognition and this past year alone Eager, Hindel, Howe, McGrath and Pinder were awarded academic all-conference.

The group will be missed, not only for their performance on the field, but also for their performance in the classroom, where they have averaged an above 3.0 team GPA for their three seasons.

Senior Peyton Howe said,  “I believe that what has made our senior class so successful is our ability to take criticism and hold each other accountable.”

“We always push each other and know that whatever is said on the field, stays on the field, which has helped us form the amazing relationships we currently have and will continue to have” Howe said.

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Senior Payton Howe in a 2018 game against Benedictine. 

Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University

Despite a coaching change during the middle of their careers, the women proceeded to win the CCIW the same year they were introduced to their new coach. 

Their ability to overcome adversity and succeed in the class on the field will be missed at IWU.

Senior soccer player, Kelli McCarthy said “The eight people in our senior class have found success because we came to IWU ready to work. My seven senior teammates have a grit and work ethic like no other, and set the bar high in every aspect of life.”

“We like to win but more importantly we like to be there for each other on and off the field” McCarthy said.

This group of seniors has built an environment of success, hard work and grit and that is shown through their successes.

The women’s soccer class of seniors have been leaders on and off the field and have made impacts that will last long after their graduation of IWU. 

The CCIW does not have an official spring season plan in place for the fall sports seasons that were canceled, the IWU Woman’s soccer team will continue to practice.

Senior Kelly McCarthy in a 2018 game against Carrol. 

Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University