Women’s soccer confident in upcoming road matches

After three losses, the pioneers hope to turn record around


Photo by Robert Berger

Junior Nikki Polens makes a defensive stop Friday night against Lourdes in a 1-0 hearbreak loss. The Pioneers played Madonna University Monday afternoon and were defeated 6-0.

Written By Rachael McKriger, Copy Editor

Despite opening up the season with three losses, the Point Park women’s soccer team is confident in upcoming play.

After Monday’s match against Madonna University, the team will hit the road four times. On the map, the Pioneers will travel to the University of Pikeville, Shawnee State University, Brescia University and Cincinnati Christian University.

The Pioneers’ Head Coach Maggie Kuhn said that no matter who the opponent is — and where the match is played — the Pioneers need to show up, ready to compete.

“It is sometimes a struggle to travel the distances that we do,” Kuhn said. “Our closest away game is between 3-5 hours away. It’s a grueling travel schedule. But, it doesn’t matter if it’s home or away, we have to show up. These games coming up, they’re not going to be earlier than the games we’ve already played this season.”

Those games to start the season include losses to Spring Arbor University, (RV) Siena Heights University and most recently, Lourdes University.

Defender Abby Magilocca said the loss to Lourdes was especially disappointing, due to a late goal in the 90th minute by Karlie O’Keefe.

“We were a bit disappointed with the result,” Magilocca, a senior, said. “They scored in the last few seconds. We’re still growing as a team. We have a lot of new, good players on the team. We’re going to only grow from here. The loss is a growing experience for us.”

Kelsee McHugh, a sophomore midfielder, said the match against Lourdes was “one we should’ve won.”

“But, instead of dwelling on the score, it’s important to go back and re-watch the match, take what we can from it and learn from the mistakes we made,” McHugh said. “It’s vital to figure it all out now so we’re successful once conference play rolls around.”

While the players are growing together on the pitch, younger players, especially freshmen, are getting used to playing at the college level. Part of the learning process includes giving into the season’s grueling schedule.

Kuhn said that since her appointment as head coach seven years ago, the schedule has never been easy.

“It gets more and more demanding the more competitive we get,” Kuhn said. “Obviously, I would like a different start to our season, but I am confident that these games are preparing us better for our conference games that we’ll face during the end of the month. Everyday we are getting better, so I am confident things will turn around.”

The first stop to turning around the Pioneers’ season comes against Madonna on Monday at 1 p.m. However, the Pioneer players, and coach Kuhn, are looking forward to the upcoming tests on the road before heading back to Highmark Stadium on Sept. 25.

“It gives us a chance to play at some different places and gives us a feel for different fields,” Magilocca said. “When we come back, it gets us more excited for the games home. Sometimes, we do well on games coming off long trips on the bus. I’m looking forward to surprising teams.”

Meanwhile, all Kuhn wants to see is how her players respond.

“I want to see what our compete level is like and how to be more clinical in the final third,” Kuhn said. “We’re creating opportunities, but we’re not finishing them. That’s something that we have to change as we approach our conference games.”

Disclosure: Kelsee McHugh is the Feature photo editor for The Globe