Clare Myers, Staff Writer
The University of Dallas women’s soccer team fell to a 5-9 record (3-5 conference) with a pair of losses this weekend to Trinity University and Southwestern University. But though the final scores of 1-7 and 1-5 may seem discouraging, head coach Angelina Pane remains optimistic about the team’s chances in the upcoming conference tournament.
“We have a lot of confidence going into the next [several] games,” Pane said.
The Crusaders have just five games, all against Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) teams, before the conference championship tournament at Texas Lutheran University begins Nov. 8.
The team is going through a bit of a rough patch in the season, since it has recently been plagued by injuries.
The absence of senior captain Emily Rogers, a starting midfielder whose play in the center of the field has been a crucial part of the Crusaders’ dynamic, has been noticeable since the team leader sustained a serious knee injury.
Several other members of the team are playing through more minor injuries. However, Pane says those who cannot play, especially the upperclassmen, are still contributing.
“They guide through leadership, through coaching and instructing,” she said.
In addition to the physical obstacles of injuries, the Crusaders must now work through the mental challenge of a four-game string of defeats. Both this past weekend and the weekend before, they faced Trinity and Southwestern, losing to each team twice.
“That kills confidence,” Pane said. She believes the scores of the games do not give an accurate picture of the team’s performance, however.
“I don’t think that truly reflects the team we are on the field … We had such great opportunities but they were few and far between,” she said.
Pane describes the team as hardworking and used to meeting challenges and overcoming obstacles. Although the coaching changes last spring were sudden and disruptive to many players’ college careers, she noted that they handled it with grace.
“They’ve accepted every challenge,” she said. “You can expect this team to fight ’til the very finish.”
The Crusaders play next at home, facing the Texas Lutheran University Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m.