Corban ladies soccer is on a six-game winning streak.
The Warriors are in a second place tie with the College of Idaho, trailing Concordia University with only two matches left in the regular season. Far eclipsing their preseason conference ranking of sixth, the Warriors could finish in the top two for the first time in school history.
Several key factors have fallen into place catapulting Corban’s rise to the top in conference. Team chemistry, distribution of scoring and making adjustments after mistakes have allowed the Lady Warriors to move ahead of the competition in tight matches.
“As the season goes on, you work on mistakes made in past games and continue to build team chemistry,” said sophomore Genessa Neeser.
“Now that we are over halfway through the season, we aren’t making the same mistakes we did at the beginning of the season, and we are playing well with each other. With each win, our confidence is growing in ourselves and as a team.”
Entering 2009, Warriors had some questions coming into the season in the way of offensive production. Both returners and freshmen alike have contributed, seeing a total of nine different Warrior net goals.
“Unlike years in the past, we’ve been able to put goals on the board,” said junior team captain Katie Hanson. “You can play a great game, but you can’t beat a team if you don’t score.
She added that they have had some people “step up in the scoring category. If you look at our statistics, different people have scored this season, so it’s really been a team effort,”
“I think our team has been successful in conference because we play with heart and work as a team,” said freshman Emily Tsugawa.
A newcomer to Corban, Tsugawa shares the Warrior goals and points lead with sophomore Amanda Mendenhall. Both players mount an offensive presence, producing individual totals that are superior to the combined team totals of four other Cascade Collegiate Conference squads.
“Lately, we have picked up our game and have managed to capitalize on the opportunities we have and have come out on top,” Tsugawa said. “We have been focusing on keeping possession and scoring as much as possible.”
After an opening conference loss to nationally ranked #5 Concordia, Corban hasn’t looked back. Rattling off six straight match wins and outscoring their opponents 19-5, the Lady Warriors will look to make a splash on a national level in post season play.
Their biggest win of the season and arguably one of the most important wins in program history, Corban overcame a 2-1 deficit to defeat the College of Idaho on the road, 3-2.
Junior Erin Laughlin found the ball after a scrum in the box and scored in the 88th minute of the match, lifting the Warriors to a confidence boosting win.
After Laughlin netted the biggest goal of her Warrior career, teammate Neeser couldn’t believe the sight.
“It was an amazing feeling, and I especially loved how we didn’t give up and came from behind,” she said. “We all swarmed her [Erin] after she scored, and when the referee blew the final whistle, our bench ran out and we all started celebrating.”
Hanson, who netted a goal of her own in the match, echoed Neeser.
“Our team came out to play that day, and we knew the type of game we had to have. It was an extremely hard fought game, and everybody played their hearts out for each other. That’s what made the difference.”
Corban followed up their success over College of Idaho with their fifth and sixth straight wins against Northwest University and Evergreen. With two matches to play before the post season, the Corban faithful need to respond to the Lady Warriors success.
“We are having a great season so far, and having the fans to support us really adds to that,” Neeser said. “Whenever we have a big crowd, it always gets us more pumped up to play.”
The top four finishing teams in the Cascade Collegiate Conference will advance to playoffs. The Warriors have given themselves an opportunity.