Winning is a fantastic feeling, but if the glory is given to only certain players, it feels empty. For the Messiah women’s soccer team, this is not an issue at all—this season is evidence of their ability to share the ball while creating a ruthless offensive attack.
In the last four games alone the team has put up nearly twenty goals en route to blowouts and, most recently, has held strong on defense for a scoreless tie. Throughout these matches the team as a whole has looked dominant.
This high level of play has been jump-started by none other than Head Coach Scott Frey. Sophomore midfielder Ally Reinhardt mentions that Frey’s pre-game speeches help greatly with mental preparation.
“His speeches have been targeted about playing for the team and always working and being all in for the team. I want to be my best so the team can be its best.”
Frey’s speeches have resonated with Sophomores Lydia Eichorn and Summerly Merson as well. Eichorn mentions how Coach Frey uses the metaphor of a sprinter—when in a race a runner never looks behind her. She puts her head down and continues to run her race.
“I think that’s what differentiates us from a lot of other teams. In a lot of programs, players want individual success but we want to push ourselves as hard as we can so the team can be better,” explains Reinhardt.
As a part of this, the team works hard to perfect the basics.
“We do the same things over and over again to get better. There is always room for improvement,” says Merson.
Something that has been very apparent throughout every game this season is how well the team passes. Reinhardt mentions the total number of passes as a big indicator of “how effectively we are moving the ball.”
Reinhardt says, “There’s definitely a trust between everyone on the field. If I mess up, someone is there that will have my back, or if I get the ball someone is going to be up ready to get the pass.”
Leadership from the coaching staff is important, but having teammates that are leaders is just as key.
Eichorn highlights the upperclassmen on the team, as a whole, and says they’re doing a great job of leading the team. Reinhardt specifically mentions Senior center midfielder Marisa Demonte and Junior midfield wing Marisa Weaver as being great vocal leaders on the field.
“The girls on the bench have just as important a role as the starters. If your job is to encourage from the sidelines or score the winning goal, everyone is needed and that’s encouraging in and of itself,” says Eichorn.
Coach Frey described his team’s recent play as “a collection of people doing a lot of things really well on a consistent basis, and that’s the fun part of it.”
He constantly emphasizes how important it is for the Falcons to stay in a team mindset in order to play well against opponents. “We can’t go out and say that we’ve arrived. We haven’t arrived anywhere. Instead the mantra right now is let’s get better tomorrow,” says Frey.
Frey and his entire coaching staff have done a great job challenging players to be examples for each other. This team is definitely of one spirit, mind, and heart, and their lack of focus on any one person has led to a spectacular result on the pitch.