Category Archives: Soccer

Women’s soccer implements new tactics for success

Senior co-captains MadisonSchoenbeck and Suzanne Kimble — both of whom are center midfielders — are aiming for success in this year’s Women’s Soccer season. Last year, the team earned their 19th title as CCIW champions with a record of 15-5-3, but their run into the National Tournament ended in the Sweet 16, with a 0-2 defeat from University of Chicago.

Optimism ebbs throughout the soccer team with nine new additions, making up a roster of 27 strong, healthy players.

“We are very young. I think 19 or 20 of our 27 are freshman and sophomores and they’re good players,” says Head Coach Pete Felske.

Switching up the formation pattern to set heavy numbers in the midfield, Felske is confident in his team even though he says that it will be the biggest change implemented this season.

Even so, the move seemed like a clear decision despite this formation being new to both the staff and players. Felske shared that “the reason we did it (created a new formation) besides personnel is that we wanted to have a better control of midfield and I hope this helps us do that.”

With returning player Schoenbeck, a senior All-American, a successful season is understandably within reach as well as a solid run into the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Tournament.

With their sights set on preparing for the upcoming season, captains Schoenbeck and Kimble hope to push the team confidently through every win and loss, leaving less time for frustration and offering more time for celebrating their victories.

“The past few practices have looked really good,” says Schoenbeck. “We have some really solid freshman that came in this year … they have a good head on their shoulders.”

Freshman players Aeva Graber, Nicole Wrightvand Jensen Ellis are anticipatedvto make a great impact on the Women’s team. Returning sophomore Sarah Tomich will help lead the defensive line and Isabelle Oliver, returning leading scorer, will lead the charge offensively.

Felske remarks on the leadership of the eight seniors, two of which are captains, saying that “corporately [the senior group] is a huge influence on our squad. With big numbers, they get along well-they’re really solid,” says Felske.

Conference season will begin this weekend for the Women’s Soccer as they travel to Md. Their schedule consists of nationally ranked teams such as the University of Chicago and Illinois Wesleyan University which will push the 2018/19 squad to success.

Women’s Soccer eliminated from NCAA DIII tournament

November 30, 2017

After a 2-0 loss to the University of Chicago, the Wheaton Women’s soccer team concluded the 2017-18 college soccer season.

“They dominated the game,” junior midfielder Maddie Peebles said.

UChicago really did dominate the field statistically, but Wheaton played a physical game in the brisk and windy November weather. UChicago had 15 shots and six shots on goal, but Wheaton only had one shot on goal during the whole game. UChicago had 12 corner kicks while Wheaton only had two. At every statistic, UChicago bested Wheaton.

“U Chicago was the better team,” Peebles said. “I think we could all see that. We went into it knowing that we’d have to work as hard as we could, but, at the end of it, they were just better.” UChicago has now advanced to the final four of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Division III tournament, and they will play the 21-0-1 College of New Jersey women’s soccer team on Friday, Dec. 1 at 11:00 a.m. Wheaton’s consistent scorer Izzy Oliver did not play against UChicago due to illness.

“We can keep improving by playing faster and getting more confident,” Peebles said. Peebles and Oliver were both named to the 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-Central Region First Team, and senior star defender Sarah Van Wingerden was named to the Second Team.

“This season our team was really cohesive on-and-off the field, so it made the season really enjoyable,” Peebles said. “Everyone came in really committed to what we were doing and that helped us continue to work hard and get better.”

Wheaton had four seniors on its team this season, including starting goalkeeper Kathryn McGregor who will not return for the 2018-19 season. For the returning players, the Record will report about Wheaton Women’s soccer starting in the fall of 2018.

Women’s Soccer advances in NCAA DIII tournament

November 16, 2017

After beating Knox College on Friday, Nov. 10 and beating Loras College on Saturday Nov. 11, the Wheaton Women’s Soccer team has advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals.

It did not take long for the Thunder to score as freshman forward Izzy Oliver shot a through ball on the right side off of an assist from senior Morgan Whitman.

Later in the first half, Oliver would put Wheaton up 2-0 in the final seconds of the period after she blocked a back pass.

Wheaton continued to put pressure on Knox College all throughout the second half with seven corner kicks, five more shots and keeping Knox to only one shot.

The game was more physical than most of Wheaton’s games, and each team had nine fouls during the game. Knox season thus ended with a final win-lose-tie record of 14-6-2. With a win on day one, the Thunder advanced to Saturday’s game against the hosting team of Loras College.
“Going into Loras, we knew we would need to play at a higher level and start faster than we did against Knox,” senior goaltender Kathryn McGregor said,

Loras put up a strong fight against Wheaton, but ultimately, they could never recover from an early 1-0 put up by a goal blasted from 30 yards out by freshman Carney Blake. Blake scored the first goal in the regular season finale against Hope in late October.

Both teams kept pressure on the goalies throughout the game with 17 shots by Wheaton and 14 shots by Loras. In contrast, Loras only had one shot on goal which McGregor saved, making Saturday’s win her 11 shutout she’s started.

Wheaton had eight fouls and five corner kicks. With a win against Loras, Wheaton advanced to the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer semifinals.

“Coming away with two wins was an awesome feeling, and we are thankful to still be playing,” McGregor said.

The Thunder will play the University of Chicago’s women’s team on Friday, Nov. 17 at 11 a.m. at the University of Chicago. The United Soccer Coaches ranked UChicago as the fourth best team in DIII women’s soccer in its most recent poll. On that same list, Wheaton was ranked 18th.

“We are focusing on playing disciplined defense against their experienced squad and hoping to keep the pace of the game fast and wide open to give our forwards the opportunity to finish some goals,” McGregor said.

These team teams met during the regular season and UChicago, in which UChicago won 2-1. Oliver scored the only goal of that game, and she is on a shortlist of four other players who were able to get past either one of UChicago’s goalies so far this season.

CCIW tournament champs and DIII NCAA’s qualification

November 9, 2017

After a 1-0 victory over Illinois Wesleyan University on Saturday, Nov. 4, the Wheaton Women’s Soccer team won the CCIW Tournament Championship and earned an automatic bid to play in the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer tournament.

Despite being double-covered throughout the game, the game-winning goal was scored early in the first half by freshman forward Izzy Oliver. Wheaton’s top scorer this season and the player with the most points in the conference.

“We focused on playing our game during the tournament,” Oliver said about her team’s tournament strategy. “We took it one game at a time and focusing on scoring early.”

“Our focus going into the tournament was to take it one game at a time and play as hard as we can doing what we do well,” junior midfielder Maddie Peebles said.

The Thunder outshot IWU nine shots to six, and six of Wheaton’s shots were on goal. Senior captain goaltender Kathryn McGregor was able to shutout IWU by making multiple diving saves when it looked like Titans would score.

Eight games ago, Wheaton was 5-4-3, but have ended their season 13-4-3 by winning the last eight games. “The tough start to the season served to help us develop as a team,” McGregor said.

According to the online statistics from the game, there were 647 people in attendance at the championship, which is more than four times the number of people that came to the home season opener when weather was warmer and more dry. There were plenty of IWU fans in attendance as well.

Wheaton played a physical game, which resulted in four fouls, but there were no penalties given to either team at any point during the game. The Thunder had more opportunities to set up a score from a corner kick with four corner kicks in total. It was a very good game for freshman goalie Kelli McCarthy of Illinois Wesleyan, but ultimately the one goal that got past her would cost her team the game.

The majority of play was spent within IWU’s own zone because Wheaton was able to contain the ball there and keep pressure on their defense.

Oliver was named the CCIW Women’s Soccer Newcomer of the Year for her performance this season, and Peebles was named CCIW Women’s Soccer Player of the Year as well. Head Coach Pete Felske was named the CCIW Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year, and four other players earned All-Conference honors: senior captain Sarah Van Wingerden (first team), freshman defender Sarah Tomich (second team), senior Morgan Whitman (second team), and McGregor (second team).

According to the NCAA, 43 conference tournament champions across the country were awarded automatic bids as well as one team from an individual institution/non-automatic qualifying conference. The final 20 teams were selected from teams that did not win their conference. Once there are four teams remaining, those four teams will travel to Greensboro, NC for the semifinals and the final championship game.

“It’s a great feeling to be back in the tournament after missing it last year, and we are so excited for the opportunity to continue our season,” McGregor said.

Ten years ago, the Wheaton Women’s Soccer team won their last NCAA Division III Champions title. That team went 27-0 in their whole season, and Wheaton had two women score four goals in the NCAA tournament to lead the rest of the Division III players. This season would be quite different from that season.

Arguably one of the top teams in the country ten years ago, Wheaton is ranked 23 by the recent coaches poll this year. Oliver is Wheaton’s top scorer with 13 goals this season, but Wheaton’s top scorer ten years ago had 27 goals during her season.

The 2017 Wheaton’s team focus will be different from the 2007 team focus. “Tournament mentally is keep players able to play [and healthy],” Oliver said. “Everyone must be ready to give better than their best, and to do their job on the field. We want to play our game and do it well. One game at a time.”

Wheaton’s first matchup with be on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Dubuque, Iowa against Knox College. Knox currently have a record of 14-5-2 and won the Midwest Conference tournament after beating Monmouth College 3-1. Knox’s top scorer this season was senior forward and number twelve Kayla Brown who scored 12 goals this season as well as having one assist. There will be a live stream of the game on the Wheaton Women’s soccer website.

“Heading into our game against Knox, we are focusing on continuing the momentum and confidence we built up through conference,” McGregor said.

Junior Chelsea Gnan dribbles ahead of an IWU player as she maintains possession of the ball during Saturday’s 1-0 victory.
Photo by Grace Kim

Women’s Soccer win CCIW title and advance in tournament

November 2, 2017

The Wheaton Women’s soccer team was able to beat Elmhurst College yesterday 3-1 after they finished out the regular season as CCIW champions.

Wheaton beat Millikin University 5-0 on Wednesday, Oct. 25 and sealed their CCIW champions title. With goals from junior Maddie Peebles, freshman Izzy Oliver, sophomore Bailey Wolf, freshman Emma Fisler and junior Hannah Cockrum, the Thunder shutout Big Blue. Senior goalie Kathryn McGregor played through the first half and freshman goalie Madison Lee was able to keep Millikin out of the for the rest of the game.

Yesterday night the Thunder played Elmhurst College in 40 degree weather with constant rain or drizzle. Wheaton was able to out-play the Bluejays at every turn of the game. With a total of 14 shots, and five shots on goal, the Wheaton women kept consistent pressure on Elmhurst’s goalkeeper.

Around the 22nd minute, Peebles headed the ball into the net off of an assist from junior midfielder Anna Saunders. Wheaton then scored twice more within the next 10 minutes. Saunders corner kicked the ball straight into the net, and then Oliver set up junior Chelsea Gnan, who headed the ball into the net.

Elmhurst was able to score once with less than 25 minutes left in the game, but they did not get the ball past Lee again, who substituted in for McGregor at the end of the first half. Wheaton went on to win the game with a final score of 3-1.

Wheaton’s opponent for Saturday’s CCIW Tournament Final will be Illinois Wesleyan University after IWU beat Carroll University 2-1 yesterday night. IWU’s own freshman soccer star Cameron Hindel scored the first goal of that game in the 52nd minute. Hindel has totaled 30 points this season with 13 goals and four assists.

Oliver was named CCIW Offensive Player of the Week after the Thunder’s victory over Millikin, has scored 13 goals this season and has had two assists.

On the defensive side of the ball, IWU’s freshman goalkeeper Kelli McCarthy has had nine shutouts this season, allowed 15 goals and has made 56 saves. McCarthy has played the majority of IWU’s game minutes, while the Thunder has been able to split many games between starter McGregor and backup Lee.

McGregor has allowed 15 goals this season, made 43 saves and has had four shutouts. Lee has allowed three goals and 11 saves and has had one shutout herself.

In their last meeting, Wheaton was able to beat IWU 2-0 with scores from Peebles and Oliver.

Freshman defender Sarah Tomich pass the ball during yesterday’s over Elmhurst, which advances Wheaton to the CCIW Tournament final with the chance to qualify for NCAA’s.
Photo by McKenzie Gallagher

Men’s Soccer breaks win streak and loses momentum

October 26, 2017

The Wheaton Men’s Soccer team spent a good portion of their fall break along the banks of the Mississippi river as they traveled to Rock Island, Ill. to take on the Augustana Vikings. Fortunately for them, their dedication payed off as they were rewarded with a 1-0 win. The game was scoreless for 80 minutes, until senior defender Drew Shay scored with 10 minutes to play, and the Thunder held on for the victory.

As students began returning to campus, the team headed home as well for a two-game homestand against conference rivals North Central and Illinois Wesleyan. On Saturday, the Thunder blanked North Central 2-0 as part of a three-game sweep for Thunder athletics over the archrival Cardinals in the span of one week, with the Women’s Soccer team and Football team also triumphing. Sophomore midfielder Jacob Kapitaniuk scored in the first half for the Thunder. Later in the half, senior forward Max Carey scored to provide the Thunder with a 2-0 lead. The defense took over from there, as they only allowed a total of nine shots, none of which were on target, to secure the 2-0 win. Freshman goalie Hasten Biddlecome was credited with the shutout, despite not being called upon to make a save. The shutout was his fourth in a row, a remarkable achievement that earned him CCIW Defensive Player of the Week honors.

The next game for the Thunder was less successful however, as their four-game shutout streak, as well as their four-game win streak came to an end against Illinois Wesleyan. Despite having only nine shots during the game, the Titans were able to get four goals into the net as Hasten Biddlecome came back down to earth hard, making only one save in the game. The only goal of the day for the Thunder came on a penalty shot by Drew Shay with 21 seconds remaining in the first half.

After the loss to Illinois Wesleyan, the Thunder traveled to Decatur to take on Millikin University yesterday night at 7:00pm. The Thunder fell behind early with a Millikin score a little more than nine minutes into the game. Then the Wheaton defense was able to keep Millikin out of the net for the rest of the first half. The offense was unsuccessful with none of their four shots on goal getting past Millikin’s goalie.

During the second half, Wheaton was able to score around the 60th minute. It looked like the the Thunder would come away with a win until the 79th minute when Millikin tied the game. Wheaton sophomore Will Woodfin answered with a goal at the 81st minute to tie the game 2-2. In double overtime neither team scored, and each team was credited with a tie.

The Thunder return to action on Saturday, as they host Finlandia University at 7 p.m.

Two strong conference wins for men’s soccer

October 12, 2017

The Wheaton Men’s Soccer team headed north over the weekend as they traveled to Wisconsin to face Carroll University. Wheaton had been outscored a combined 4-1 over their previous two games against North Park University and Carthage College, but the Thunder put four balls in the back of the net and kept Carroll off the score sheet for a 4-0 win.

The Thunder rushed out to a 2-0 lead less than halfway into the first half on goals by sophomore midfielder Will Woodfin and senior forward Max Carey. That score held going into the half, and the Thunder doubled their lead in the second half as sophomore midfielder Peter Whallon scored and Woodfin added his second goal of the game. Freshman goalie Hasten Biddlecome and the Thunder defense took care of the rest, as Carroll managed only five shots on goal, all of which Biddlecome stopped to secure a 4-0 shutout. Carroll’s starting keeper, Jeremy Pasterz, on the other hand, lasted only four minutes, allowing goals on two shots before giving way to Connor Thompson, who finished the game for Carroll.

Yesterday night the Thunder had a late rush of scoring to beat Elmhurst College 4-0 on the road. Sophomore Peter Whallon scored the first goal of the game around the 75th minute to kickstart Wheaton’s momentum.

Less than ten minutes later senior forward Max Carey kicked a bomb from 35 yards out off an assist from junior midfielder Andrew Wade that found its way into the back of the net. Wheaton’s second goal of the game, and a big highlight for the Thunder.

Barely two minutes after Carey’s goal, sophomore midfielder Jacob Kapitaniuk finally found the back of the net off a rebound after he constantly put pressure on the Elmhurst goalie with six shots throughout the game.

To set Wheaton’s win in stone, Wheaton’s top scorer with seven goals so far this season sophomore Will Woodfin scored with less than a minute to play in the game.

This weekend, the Wheaton men’s soccer team will host Illinois Wesleyan University for another CCIW matchup on Saturday Oct. 14 at 3:30pm.

Women’s Soccer adds two wins to their win streak

October 5, 2017

After beating North Park University in dominating fashion, the Thunder carried momentum into Wednesday’s game against Carthage College, which spurred them on to another decisive victory.

The Wheaton Thunder hosted the North Park Vikings on Saturday, Sept. 30 for a homecoming weekend game at 4:30 p.m. Wheaton shut out the Vikings 7-0 thanks to strong performances by freshman Isabelle Oliver and senior Morgan Whitman. Once again, the Thunder started senior goalkeeper Kathryn McGregor in the first period, but Wheaton dominated offensive possession and kept the ball out of their own zone for nearly the entire half. North Park did not have a single shot in the first period.

Meanwhile, Wheaton had 20 shots in the first period alone, and two of the shots made it past the Viking goalie to put Wheaton up 2-0 at the end of the first. Both goals are credited to Oliver, who has proved her worth to the Thunder by scoring five goals in the three games since the Calvin 5-0 victory where she scored the first goal of her career two weeks ago.

Wheaton came onto the field in the second period with the same amount of dominance. They had 22 shots throughout the second period, and five of those shots were scores. Whitman scored a pair of goals to continue her strong year of scoring, and around the 65th minute, junior midfielder Hannah Cockrum scored. Junior forward Lauren Wilkes scored, and junior midfielder and forward Sammy Nishiyama quickly followed suit.

Yesterday afternoon the Thunder beat the Carthage Lady Reds 5-1. Both teams remained scoreless until the 25th minute of the game when Whitman scored a header off of an assist by Oliver to put Wheaton up 1-0. Neither team would score again until the second period.

Junior midfielder Anna Saunders found the net 46 seconds into the second period to score her first goal of the season. Less than 10 minutes later, Whitman scored her second goal of the game. Around the 60-minute mark, Sammy Nishiyama scored Wheaton’s fourth goal during the game and her second goal of the season. Sophomore midfielder and forward Sarah Gencarella also scored her first goal of the season around the 66th minute. Carthage did not score until they made a penalty kick with less than 10 minutes left in the game.

As of Wednesday afternoon before their victory over Carthage, Wheaton was the fourth ranked team in the CCIW with a conference record of 1-0 and an overall record of 4-4-2. Wheaton’s CCIW record has improved to 2-0 and their overall record is now 5-4-2.

Wheaton will travel to Carroll University on Saturday, Oct. 7 for another strong CCIW matchup at 57 p.m. Carroll was ranked sixth in the conference as of Wednesday afternoon.

Men’s Soccer suffers CCIW losses to North Park and Carthage

October 5, 2017

Men’s Soccer lost to a strong North Park University soccer team on Saturday, Sept. 30.

The first 15 minutes of the first period were quiet on both sides of the ball. Then North Park began to put steady pressure on Wheaton’s defense. Freshman starting goalie Hasten Biddlecome made a save around the 18th minute, but the Vikings quickly had another shot wide right of the goal. Three minutes later, the Vikings’ persistence paid off when they scored off a header after a corner kick pass.

Wheaton made three substitutions after North Park scored, but the Vikings continued to keep the ball on Wheaton’s half of the field. North Park scored again a little more than 30 minutes into the game. Wheaton’s only two shots on goal both came from sophomore Will Woodfin with 10 minutes left in the period and another shot with less than a minute left in the period.

North Park had six more shots during the second period, but the Thunder defense did not allow another score. Wheaton could not score on the Vikings, and the game ended with a final score of 2-0, leaving North Park with the victory.

North Park is 8-1 this season so far, winning all three of their CCIW matchups. According to the CCIW website, the Vikings have the best overall record in the conference and the best conference record, giving them the top ranking.

Wheaton lost 2-1 to the Carthage Red Men in another CCIW matchup on Wednesday, Oct. 4.

Wheaton is 0-2 as of Wednesday night in conference play and is 4-5-6 overall; they are the sixth ranked team in the CCIW as of Wednesday afternoon before the game against Carthage. Carthage was ranked fifth in the conference, but now has a CCIW record of 0-2 and an overall record of 6-5-1.

The Thunder men’s soccer team will travel to Carroll University for another CCIW game at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. Carroll University is 0-2 in conference play.

Women’s soccer plays against high-ranked opponents

September 28, 2017

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, the Thunder shut out Calvin College with a final score of 5-0. Wheaton’s defense only allowed Calvin three shots on goal throughout the duration of the game. Thunder senior starting goalie Kathryn McGregor successfully protected the net for the first half, and freshman goalie Madison Lee finished the shutout for Wheaton.

We as a team had been struggling to find the back of the net consistently for a few games but in the Calvin game we were able to break through that barrier,” freshman defender/midfielder Isabelle Oliver said.

Wheaton’s fives goals are credited to sophomore midfielder Bailey Wolf with the first goal of the game, then Oliver, junior midfielder Madison Peebles and junior midfielder Hannah Cockrum. Oliver scored the final goal of the game at the 89th minute.

After a hard-fought, double overtime battle, Wheaton ended up tying Washington University in St. Louis on Saturday, Sept. 23. Senior Morgan Whitman scored the first goal of the game around the 21st minute, but WashU tied the game three minutes later.

Early in the second half WashU scored again, and it seemed like they would win the game. With less than three minutes left in the game, Oliver tied the game. Neither team was able to score in either overtime period, and the game ended as a tie. WashU outshot Wheaton 27-to-eight during the game, but Wheaton played a cleaner game with only 15 fouls to WashU’s 20.

Oliver said that Coach Felske reminded them that “it does not have to be pretty, just effective.” For 110 minutes in uncommon September heat, Wheaton did just that against the then top-ranked team in the country.

Despite being unranked, the Wheaton women stuck with the current number-one ranked Division III team in the country in a tough 2-1 loss to the University of Chicago. Two minutes into the game, UChicago proved their ranking with an early goal. Wheaton did not score during the first half, and none of their three shots were on goal. Around the 51st minute, Oliver found the net and scored.

“They [UChicago] are a team that has given up few goals, consistently been able to put many [goals] away during games and win games by large differences,” Oliver said. “For it to have been so close regardless of our play not being our best that day was for sure the greatest success of that game.”

UChicago’s freshman goalie and sophomore goalie have only allowed four goals so far this season. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s game was the first time that UChicago was unable to score at least three goals.

“We have proved to ourselves that if we can hang with the ‘big name’ schools, we can hang with anyone,” Oliver said. “Going into this next game we want to set the tone for the rest of conference play by making a statement that we intend to win most, if not all, of our games left in the season.”

The Wheaton women’s soccer team will face North Park University this Saturday, Sept. 30 at 4:30 p.m.