DePauw University women’s soccer stays in playoff hunt


Junior Stephanie Martin prepares to take down the ball in a previous
game against the College of Wooster. 

This past Tuesday, the Tigers played in what could have been their most critical game of the season.

With a 1-0 win over Wittenberg University (8-6-1, 4-3-0), DePauw (5-7-2, 3-2-2) moved within one point behind the Tigers for fourth place in the NCAC Conference Standings.  The top four teams in the conference advance to the postseason tournament.

“It was a big game for us,” sophomore forward Elizabeth Seewer said. “The bus ride there was completely silent as everyone was focusing and preparing for the game.”

Junior Caroline Zadina’s goal in the first half proved to be all DePauw needed, even as Wittenberg proceeded to outshoot them 20-5.

“The game was quite a battle,” junior goalkeeper Sarah Cho, who recorded seven saves for DePauw, said. “Wittenberg fought back, but we fought back even harder.”

Heading into the game, DePauw had multiple obstacles to overcome. The team knew that this was a must-win game, and as if that wasn’t enough pressure, they had to win on the road against a team who had defeated them last season at home.

“I thought it was one of the tougher teams we played in conference,” Seewer said. “The turf was a lot different to play on than ours, which made us a little shaky at the beginning… After the game was over, I was able to take a deep breath.”

It’s safe to say that, in regards to the rest of the team, Seewer’s feeling of relief was mutual.

“I think we were all pretty excited but still a little nervous,” junior forward/defender Stephanie Martin said. “Our season has been an up and down roller coaster ride, but all throughout we have proved and gotten better game by game.”

For the rest of the week, the Tigers are back to work, knowing what’s at stake come Saturday.

In order keep their chances of advancing to the tournament alive, DePauw will need to win again.  This will prove to be another challenging game, as it will come against Dennison University, who carries a 12-5 record.

“The next two days of practice will definitely be more intense in preparation for Saturday’s game,” Martin said. “[Wednesday], we had a light, fun practice, but now it’s time to buckle down and get ready.”

Cho agrees.

“Our eyes are on the prize,” said she. “We have to make sure we stay focused during practice this week and perform to our best abilities out on the field Saturday.”

Unfortunately, DePauw will only be able to control part of their fate, as the Tigers will also need Wittenberg to lose to Allegheny. However, this game could easily play to DePauw’s favor, as the Gators come into Saturday’s game against Wittenberg with a 13-5 record and a five-game winning streak.

No matter what happens Saturday, it’ll be interesting to keep tabs on both games, as both are a determinant to how the Tigers’ season plays out.

“We’re all hopeful for this win,” Seewer said. “It won’t necessarily be easy, but I have faith and the confidence that we will win this game and that we will continue on to tournament play.”

DePauw and Dennison will square off Saturday at 12 p.m. at Reavis Stadium in what will be the Tigers’ final regular season game.