Women’s soccer team strives for win


The women’s soccer team charges off the field following a win. Photo credit: Jordan Jarrell

Only two figures stand out to the Chico State women’s soccer team: six and 10.

The team suffered six consecutive losses after starting its conference, despite having an undefeated preseason. The lack of success has stumped the team’s leaders, including senior midfielder Emily Shleppey.

“Honestly, this is one of the most talented teams I have ever been on, we’ve shown some true grit and determination, but the luck just hasn’t been on our side,” Shleppey said.

She has started every game for the Wildcats since the start of the 2015 season. Although she’s increased her offensive presence on the field with a season record of two goals, the team has yet to find its stride.

First-year goalkeeper Caitlyn Duval addressed the lack of scoring as the main reason that the Wildcats were struggling in the game.

“I just don’t think we have been able to find the back of the net,” Duval said. “Obviously if we can’t score, we can’t win games.”

The team is fifth in scoring in its conference with eight goals this season but is ranked second in goals allowed with 14. A lack of communication on the team has led to unsuccessful offensive tactics, thus leading to the team’s poor record, according to Duval.

“We have been very flat and off on our timing and on a lot of our runs in the box. We are not communicating well,” Duval said.

The recent two-game win streak the ’Cats have earned has lifted them from the bottom of the league to tie for 10th. Chico State has six points in its conference and needs to clinch sixth place in order to compete in the CCAA Championship.

Cal State Dominguez Hills currently holds sixth place, and lead the Wildcats in the standings with 12 points. Chico State played against the Toros and snagged its second win of the conference 2-1.

The Wildcats have four more games in their conference to help improve their record as they attempt to save their post season. With the remainder of its season dependent on a six-game win streak, the team has decided to dedicate its practices to specific skill training.

“A lot of our practices have revolved around communicating effectively and running plays in the box. We’re focusing on what we have been struggling with,” Duval said.

Chico State had a difficult schedule this year, with the first four games of its conference away from its home field. The team struggled with its lack of leadership and experience in the beginning of its conference.

While the Wildcats have recently found success, their streak might be hindered by the upcoming away games. The adversity the Wildcats are facing this season is a motivating factor for senior forward Pooja Patel.

“We are ready to come out with all we’ve got and show people that we truly are a great team and we deserve success,” Patel said.

Duval thinks that the tenacity of the team to continue striving for a post season has encouraged her to elevate her performance in the remaining games.

“Even though we haven’t had the best outcomes lately, that doesn’t mean we give up,” Duval said. “The season isn’t over until it’s over. We’re willing to fight together to get back to the top.”

Cydney Nance can be reached at [email protected] or @CydneyNa on Twitter.