Brady Boie – Staff Writer
After something of a rough (pumpkin)patch in the season, the Gustavus women’s soccer team was set to play Bethel in a conference game on Oct. 23. The game was a difficult back and forth with neither team displaying any particular advantage, culminating in a double overtime situation for the Gusties. Eventually, the Gusties managed to prevail over their opponents as First-year Lillian Selberg scored the game winning goal in the second overtime period. This victory leaves the Gustavus women’s soccer team with a record of 8-8 overall and 5-4 in the MIAC.
This victory was especially important to the Gusties as they prepare for postseason play. “This win gave us a lot of confidence going into our last two games and we can carry it over into playoffs,” First-year Lucie Henrich said. With the remainder of the season being so short, the Gusties are able to use this win as a vote of confidence in their ability to compete amongst, and potentially become the best in the MIAC, “The win… helped our team have confidence in a spot for playoffs,” Henrich said. Mental conviction for success is especially important for the mental preparation aspect of entering into the postseason.
Not only was the win important mentally, it was important for postseason rankings and outcomes. “This win continues our roll of conference wins, it was our fourth conference win after our rough patch. We really need these wins to cinch our spot in playoffs,” Selberg said. As the Gusties prepare to enter the playoffs, every win is important in securing a spot and putting the Gusties in the best position possible to excel in the postseason. Mental and physical preparation are key to the Gusties’ success in the postseason, a fact that is widely embraced by the team as everyone buys into the culture of success and goals for postseason.
In addition to being an important part of preparation for postseason, the Gusties win over Bethel was a key indicator of how the Gusties work to persevere and achieve their goals. “One of our season goals is to have no overtime losses. Our last game that went into overtime; we had lost and we said it was our turn to win. Although we were all tired we knew we had to keep fighting,” Selberg said. This mentality of it being their time to win, shows the buy-in that the players have to the program and how earnestly the team wants success, even in the face of exhaustion and tough competition.
This victory in double overtime was especially important to the entirety of the team. Scoring the winning goal was especially important to Selberg as she got to physically experience the joy of her team through hugs from her teammates. Selberg got to further experience her teammates’ happiness after the game. “After the game we all talked as a team and I didn’t realize the seniors hadn’t ever won a game during OT playing here. So to see their joy to finally win just made everyone that much more happy to have won,” Selberg said.
Despite its importance to the seniors, the game was an emotional victory for every member of the team. “It was a full team win. Every player was filled with joy and so excited. Everyone was proud of one another and everyone played their part towards this victory,” Henrich said. Again, the full commitment points to the pride that the Gustavus women’s soccer team takes in their success as a team and as individuals. Regardless of their playing time, every member of the team was fully committed to the game and the process, which was pivotal in the Gusties turning the well-matched game around. The joy the team had will be important for them going into the remaining two regular season games as well as playoffs.
The Gustavus women’s soccer team’s double overtime victory over Bethel was a key indicator of the culture on the team and how dedicated the women are to achieving their season goals. Not only was the win an important reminder of the confidence the team deserves to have, it also helps the Gusties secure a more promising position as they prepare for postseason play. “This game definitely showed our grit. We were constantly pushing ourselves. We have talked about there being pretty games and there being gritty games. This was definitely one that was both pretty and gritty. We fought until the last second [and] we had pretty chances but it ended up being a gritty goal to get the win,” Selberg said. Looking into the immediate future, the Gusties played Hamline on Oct. 27 and are set to play Macalester on Oct. 30 for their last two regular season games.