Women’s soccer has been assosiated with one word over the past few years: success.
Halfway through the season, the women are holding a 8-2-2 record and a 7-0-1 conference record, sitting at third in the NSIC standings.
Losing only one match in conference play and dropping one non-conference match to No. 2 nationally-ranked Central Missouri, the women’s team is looking to improve off of last year’s success, where they battled against Minnesota State Mankato in the 2016 NSIC championship match.
Samantha Tymkowicz, a senior forward, has been a key player to the team. Netting three goals and two assists, Tymkowicz has been involved in half of the total goals scored this season. With almost half of her shots being on goal, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Tymkowicz has a hot foot that finds the back of the net.
And Tymkowicz has enjoyed every moment.
“It creates a lot of good energy and excitement for us,” Tymkowicz said. “At the end of the day, it’s about remembering to have fun.”
As a senior on the team, Tymkowicz has gained much experience with her teammates.
“It’s been a real journey,” Tymkowicz said. “Freshman year was the first year of success for the school. Now, it’s about making it a tradition here to win. It’s been a unique and satisfying experience for me.”
Senior leadership will come in handy as post-season rolls around, and the race to win the conference commences.
For Tymkowicz, to prepare for and win the NSIC, she will need to focus on the details.
“We have a very heavy returning team, and that offers a lot of benefits,” Tymkowicz said. “It’s all about succeeding in the little things that’ll make us better.”
Grace Behm, a sophomore forward, has been seeing more of the pitch in her second year on the team.
“The drive of the girls on the team to want to be better has been helping our team win,” Behm said. “Every single girl on the soccer team goes into every practice, every game with a fighting attitude hoping that they can make some sort of a difference for the time allotted for them to play in the game.”
Behm said that the team isn’t perfect, but it does not require much change to get back to the top and win the NSIC tournament.
“There are fine details here and there that every team, not just ours, needs to improve on; but I think just sticking to our game plan has really helped us to stay successful.”
Both Tymkowicz and Behm know that there is a lot at stake this season after coming off of last fall. Both agree that their coach, Brandon Barkus, has played a vital role in the success that is produced.
“He knows we all have the ability to be successful women,” Behm said. “He pushes us to be the very best we can be academically and athletically.”
The next matches on the radar for the team are on October 14th as ittravels to Crookston, Minn. to play the Eagles, and Bemiji, Minn. to battle the Beavers.