Women’s soccer dreams of Horizon League crown
90 minutes. That’s how far away the Wright State Women’s Soccer team was from their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2000.
The Raiders fell to Milwaukee 5-1 in the Horizon League Championship game on November 6, but didn’t let the loss linger.
Instead, they went back to the drawing board to figure out how to take the next step. The offensive game plan evolved under the guidance of eighth year Head Coach Pat Ferguson.
“We’re setting high standards for ourselves. We’re trying to attack through the midfield more than we have in the past and we’ve also been working on synchronizing our passes as well as on and off the ball movement,” said forward Emilie Fillion (Sr.).
The Raiders hope to use a more possession-based offense this season to keep the ball on their end and limit chances for the opponent to score. If all goes according to plan, goalkeeper Brooke McCurdy (Jr.) won’t be picking the ball out of the net as often this year.
“We have some real creative players who have the ability to hold on to the ball,” Ferguson said.
Aside from McCurdy, Ferguson mentioned defenders Lauren Patterson (Sr.) and Allie Metzler (So.), a member of the Horizon League All-Newcomer team last season, as players to keep an eye on this year.
“The Horizon League always brings surprises. Our defensive line will probably be the ones to save a couple games for us,” Fillion said.
The Raiders have plenty of experience on the attack this season with Fillion and Adrianna Guerrero (Sr.) set to take target on goal.
Highlighting the schedule is the Omni Hotels Colorado Classic where the Raiders will play two games in three days in Boulder against the Denver Pioneers and the Colorado Buffaloes.
The Raiders also have road games at Milwaukee and cross-town rival Dayton this season.
Home matches include Big East foe DePaul and dates with conference opponents Green Bay, Valparaiso and Detroit.
“We’ve got a good schedule,” Ferguson said. “I think it accommodates a team to get better each game. We’ll get challenged more and more as the season goes on.”
While Ferguson expects competition in the conference to be tough, the road to the championship lies through one team.
“I think there’s more parity in the conference this year than any other year,” Ferguson said. “[But] Milwaukee is still the team to beat.”
While the conference title is the dream every season, the Raiders know they need to focus on themselves and what they can control in order to lift the Horizon League trophy.