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Bearcat Soccer Surges Ahead: Women’s Soccer Sees Strong Start to Conference Play

By Jacob Rzempoluch, Sports Editor

Originally Published October 3, 2023

Soccer is a sport of small margins. The result of 90 minutes of playtime is a combination of hundreds of touches and quick individual decisions. The Saint Vincent College (SVC) women’s soccer team approached the game with this clinical mindset.

(SOURCE: WATKINS) Head Coach Bryan Butler directs sophomore biology major during a match against Hiram.

“We’re a very possession-based team, looking to how we can win and change the point of attack” said Head Coach Bryan Butler. So far, this precise approach has led to some successful victories for the Bearcats. Heading into October, the Bearcats carry a 5-3-1 overall record and a 1-1-1 record in Presidents’ Athletic Conference matches.

“We just try to instill being energetic and focusing on all the small parts” said Tanisha Grewal, senior biology major. The Bearcat’s captain exemplifies this mindset, always charging at opponents and not backing away. Grewal’s 4 goals, including 2 game-winners, make her the second-leading goal scorer for the Bearcats.

“Tanisha’s done a really good job kind of stepping up as that captain and leader,” said Butler. “We had a lot of freshmen step up… Jordan Kirkwood and Emma Koller have really stepped into that playing time role. Liv Toomey, Madi Geesaman, Jude Galvin have all been here last year and they’re all leveled up.”

A balanced PAC record does not adequately demonstrate how strong the Bearcats have been so far. Against the preseason favorite Westminster Titans, SVC only allowed one goal. Westminster scored two minutes into the game. However, the Bearcats responded well and played up to Westminster’s level for the rest of the match.

“I think that’s the best we’ve played coming out of preseason, and we’re definitely hoping to go that same route during the conference games,” said Madison Arnold, junior criminology major.

(SOURCE: WATKINS) Junior goalie Madison Arnold clears the ball.

“How you respond to getting scored on is really important for the team, and we responded well,” said Grewal, a forward. “Instead of it hinder our performance we used it as motivation to try to get it back.” Saint Vincent bounced back in their next game with a 2-1 victory against the Washington & Jefferson Presidents before a 4-4 tie against the Waynesburg Yellow Jackets. Koller, a freshman biology major, had a program record-tying performance after scoring all four of the Bearcat goals in the game. This incredible performance contributed to her team-leading 9 goals this season. Additionally, Madisen Geesaman, sophomore political science major, was named Bearcat of the week during the opening stretch of PAC matches.

“It feels amazing to be named bearcat of the week,” said Geesaman, a forward. It shows all the hard work in the off seasons are paying off.”

The Bearcats hope to carry their strong momentum through the rest of the conference season. To make the PAC playoffs, they must finish within the top 6 of the conference; in the preseason coaches’ poll, SVC was voted to finish sixth. The Bearcats hope to fight for a higher seed and show that strength so far was not a fluke but rather part of a building process.

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