Sawyer Strelnieks—Staff Writer
Every sports team has its ups and downs throughout the season; how a team reacts to situations of good and bad is what makes every season a unique one.
The Dordt men’s soccer team had a roller coaster season. Senior Stephen Brinkerhoff said this year’s team struggled with chemistry.
“Building a team that runs smoothly can often be one of the hardest obstacles to get through,” Brinkerhoff said.
His highlight from this season was beating Buena Vista earlier in the season.
“Dordt’s passing was the best they had had all year and their defense contained Buena Vista’s quick offense very well,” said head coach Craig Stiemsma.
Heading into playoffs, the men’s team prepared itself by watching a film from the previous game and preparing for away games by practicing on a turf field.
“I enjoyed spending time with the guys,” Stiemsma said. “It was nice seeing them work hard in practice and watching the younger guys grow as players. Seeing how much fun they have together was great and seeing them off the field at a retreat together were some enjoyable things.”
Dordt women’s soccer team had a season of improvement, competition and preparation for playoffs. Senior Natalie Sakuma said every game they played, they had a chance at putting the ball in the net. Sakuma also said they are improving their ability to work as one unit and are trying to utilize all the talent that is on this year’s team.
“I think one of the biggest highlights for us, especially us seniors, was shelling Northwestern 4-0,” Sakuma said. “We haven’t beaten them in three years and they hadn’t let one goal in all conference, so being able to put that win on the board meant a great deal.”
However, Sakuma explained how being incredibly competitive with the top teams in the conference is what really helped the team grow, and that was the most rewarding aspect on the season.
“One thing I think the team improved the most on this season was adjusting to being able to play a full 90 minutes and play them hard,” said senior Dallas Parker. “At the beginning of the season, we would let down here and there during play, but the last few games we have finished the game, working our hardest until the last minute.”
Preparing for playoffs is not much different than preparing for the regular season, Parker said.
“However, there’s more pressure to perform at a high rate and produce good results,” Parker said.
Heading into the playoffs, the men’s team was 8-10 (not including Tuesday, October 24th’s Hastings game) and the women’s team was 12-6 at the time or original publication.