Under a new coach with a new philosophy, the women’s soccer team is putting together a remarkable bounceback season, jumping to 5-2 after its homecoming win against Concordia. Midfielder Abby Stets ’18 has caught fire with goals in each of St. Olaf’s last four victories to become the team’s top scorer of the season. Three of them came in matches decided by only one goal, making Stets’ clutch factor and recent hot streak a major component in the Oles’ pleasantly surprising early success.
Q: What’s the area of your own personal game that you feel has seen the most improvement over the past year?
A: This year I feel more confident that I can help score goals and bring something unique to the team. I think in the past I was too nervous to keep the ball for too long so I just passed it off, but this year I feel like I can be more productive as a forward combining speed and a drive to the goal.
Q: The team is remaning highly competitive in an extremely tough conference. What is the main cause of this rapid improvement?
A: I think collectively our mindset is completely different. We’re focusing more on working productively and smartly as a team rather than trying really hard individually all over the field. We’re also playing to our strengths more – we have a lot of great work ethic and athleticism on our team and I think our formation reflects that. Coach Rachael has done a great job setting the bar for our potential and we work hard towards that since she came in with a fresh pair of eyes.
Q: Looking back, what’s the highlight of your career so far at St. Olaf? What’s something specific you still hope to achieve?
A: The highlight so far was this year when we scored in double OT to win against UW– Oshkosh. The day before, we had lost in the last minute of double OT to Loras, so to come back and beat a regionally ranked team was super exciting. This year our goal is to be at the top of the MIAC and make the tournament.