Women’s soccer team reflects on season, road ahead


Andrew Walker

Guilford College women’s soccer team stretches at the start of practice on Appenzeller Field in Greensboro, North Carolina on Sept. 9, 2017.//Photo By Andrew Walker/The Guilfordian

The crushing defeat Guilford College’s women’s soccer team suffered in their last regular season game lowered their spirits, but it did not take much to lift them back up.

The Quakers started strong this year, 2-0, with some big wins against William Peace University and John Wesley University. However, they suffered a skid, losing six of the next seven games. It was soon flipped after the women’s team tied against Emory & Henry College on Oct. 4, battling out the final six games going 3-3 and finishing the season with a record of 6-9-1.

Forward Juliana Evans-Anfom said the atmosphere of the team after every game was dynamic because it was based around winning, losing or how they played during that game. The Quakers’ final game was against East Mennonite University in a battle for the last position in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament. After the loss, Evans-Anfom said emotions were at an all-time low.

“Yes, we were disappointed,” said Evans-Anfom. “Yes, we wanted to win.”

The women’s team had the advantage at home, creating more opportunities for them to score. This came from the help of midfielder Morgan Henderson, the leading scorer of the team, who had seven of the 30 goals the Quakers scored. She, as well as teammate Ana Fokas, started all 16 regular season games.

Even though their season was over, the women’s team still looked forward to the future.

“What uplifted the mood slightly, though, was discussion about preparing for next season,” said Evans- Anfom. “I think that made us hopeful, even though we had lost an important game.”

Head coach Stephanie Webb was there for every player along the way. Webb said she and other staff would take a step back and analyze the team during practice and games to figure out what the team wanted to accomplish. After seeing how competitive the team was during their game against Randolph and during practices, she planned out their offseason workout.

“We gave the players a week off, and now we are back to training twice a week and (lifting) weights twice a week to keep a consistent rhythm,” said Webb. “This lets the players know that when we make it into the conference tournament, we are going to still be training.”

Webb also said that even though coaches are only allowed a restricted amount of time with the players, she believes the team leaders will be there to guide the team.

This strong chemistry between the players during their offseason allows for unfamiliar faces to appear on the team. First-year Elizabeth Barnes lives in Oregon, so taking the trip across the country and playing on a soccer team was something she was nervous about.

“I was really nervous coming in,” said Barnes. “But the girls were welcoming and stressing how we’re a family. So, I never felt out of place or unwelcomed, and that was really nice.”

Throughout her experience with the team, Barnes was introduced into a recovery activity the team calls “Soccer-Tennis.” This activity is comprised of putting a bench in the middle of the field and volleying a soccer ball back and forth to not let it touch the ground. Barnes said this was her favorite activity, while coach Webb said that the women were competitive and serious about the game.

“It’s a game that a lot of coaches utilize for recovery sessions and for fun while also keeping it competitive,” said Webb. “It always gets competitive when the coaches get involved as well, but it’s a fun game overall.”

Barnes said that she, as well as her teammates, are looking forward to bonding together in the coming years and welcoming other athletes into their family.