By: Maggie Fipps
Just two numbers.
November 13, 2022.
Just one date.
These simple numbers have been bulletin board material for the Cedarville women’s soccer team since the last GMAC Championship. In this rematch, they repeated their failures, losing to Ashland University 1-0.
Teams have hopes and expectations, and of course, every coach would give you the cliché answer: “We only play to win.”
But this team has played to its full potential, not losing a game since September 14. However, they didn’t realize their dreams tonight.
The Ashland offense came out strong, and at the 32-minute mark, midfielder Merrik Mihalek kicked the ball in the back left corner of the goal, over the hands of Brooke Ackley.
Both sidelines were vocal, emphasizing what this game means for both teams. The aggression also played out in multiple slide tackles and trips, some called and some not, much to the chagrin of the season-high 466 person crowd.
An unexpected player was also on the roster tonight, the northern wind. Whichever team was pushing offensively in that direction had a massive advantage as their kicks were carried a bit farther over the pitch.
Into the second half, Ashland practically played 45 minutes of defense, as Cedarville relentlessly attacked the goal. The Cedarville offense put pressure on Ashland’s defense, even as their defenders stuck to the Jackets like the dead leaves plastered to the bleachers. Though seven shots on goal, none of the balls were netted, thanks to Ashland’s player of the game, goalie Bri Rogers.
After the postgame prayer, Cedarville’s players trudged over to the sideline. They solemnly watched Ashlandcelebrate their GMAC victory on the field. Players after the game were dazed and unable to fully form answers to questions.
While both teams qualify for the national tournament, Ashland may have the opportunity to host games. Cedarville will be forced to move on from this loss quickly; they’ll find out who they play on Monday.
How does a team not live in defeat?
“You know we just wake up tomorrow,” Coach Jonathan Meade said. “We keep working to reach those goals. We’ve got goals set for next week and we’ll just keep practicing to try to attain those goals.”
This next game will test Cedarville’s resiliency as they enter the national tournament next week.
Maggie Fipps is a sophomore journalism student and the sports editor of Cedars. She enjoys playing the piano and thrifting, and you may spot her around campus sporting Packers gear head to toe.