After ending last season with only three victories and being knocked out of the MIAA playoffs by Northwestern Missouri State University, the women’s soccer team say they are still a force to be reckoned with.
“I was disappointed in our loss, but I was very happy with making it to the tournament, which was our goal in the very beginning,” said Nikki Schmitz, senior goal keeper and elementary education major.
But an MIAA appearance alone is not going to be enough for this Hornets squad, as they have worked even harder in the offseason.
“I probably worked out three to four times a week,” said Mindi Lozenski, senior center mid and health promotions major. “We did weightlifting, sprints and suicide work on the football field.”
Although the 2012 preseason MIAA coaches’ poll has Emporia State ranked 11 out of 13, that doesn’t seem to bother the Lady Hornets. They believe they are a contender.
“If you go by what the outside people say, our expectations are low, but our expectations inside are very high,” said Bryan Sailer, who is coming into his second year as head coach. “I think we can make a huge jump. It’s just a matter of us doing it.”
The Lady Hornets, who sit one spot above the Lady Ichabods, are already looking ahead to that game as the key matchup. They defeated their rival once last year.
“I’m looking forward to the Fort Hays and Washburn game mostly because I know a lot of girls that play there, so I know a lot of old teammates,” said Katie Wolfe, freshman center back and elementary education major.
Before they can get to the Sept. 14 showdown against Washburn, they must first make it through a four game stretch that includes three road games.
The first game of the season is at 5 p.m. on Aug. 31. They will travel to St. Joseph, Mo. to take on the Tigers of East Central University, to whom they, 1-0, in last year’s matchup.