Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

UIS WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM IS BACK:

Winter Break Ending Means A New Season Begins.
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Contributors: Elena Dimaggio

The winter break not only served as a respite from academics for the UIS women’s soccer team but also marked a departure from their regular training routine. After an intense-five-week home workout regimen, the team reunited on Monday, Jan. 22, led by their strength and conditioning coach, Oscar Booth. Spring 2024 will be a challenging season for the ladies, who will engage in rigorous training. The team will practice twice a day on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays while additionally having strength and conditioning sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Regarding the spring game schedule, the ladies will play their first match against Southwestern Illinois and Lincoln Land on March 24, at home, respectively at 1 and 5:30 p.m. Afterward, they will meet Eastern Illinois on March 29, at 5 p.m. Their first away matches will happen on April 7, against Illinois State, Heartland CC, and Illinois Wesleyan. Then, they will come back playing at Kiwanis Stadium against Saint Ambrose on April 14, at 12 and 2:30 p.m. The last match away from home will be played at Millikin University on April 20 at 3 p.m.The UIS women’s soccer team will conclude their Spring 2024 season with the annual UIS Alumni game on April 27 at 2 p.m.

“I think this spring season and next fall will be very good learning seasons for us and for the program,” said Megan Little, a junior student at UIS and team captain. “With the majority of the team staying and working together in the spring, it will really translate next year during our competitive season. We will be able to bond and build up our chemistry to where it will be completely natural to play alongside each other in the fall, instead of feeling disconnected. We are already a very close team, and we love to hang out with each other, which makes the environment a comfortable and welcoming place to compete in.”

The team and its head coach Erin Egolf, together with assistant coaches Christian Casciano, Jason Vlcek and Erin Tomlinson, are very proud of team’s past records. “There was a lot to be proud of this past fall, including records broken, team and individual honors, and a competitive standing in our conference, along with reaching the conference tournament for the second season in a row,” claimed coach Egolf. Reflecting on last season achievements, the team accomplished most assists in a season (24), most conference wins in a season (7), most conference points in a season (23), most goal scorers in a season (10), most players with points in a season (16), and best away record in program history.

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“What’s even more thrilling about the successes of last season is that they came on the back of the best season in program history in Fall 2022. This is a bright time in our Prairie Star women’s soccer history, and we are all wanting to see these triumphs continue into future seasons. One of the ways to bolster this sustained achievement is through the work in our non-championship season (this spring). The players will be pushed in their strength and conditioning sessions as well as training sessions, in hopes that they grow both as soccer players and as athletes. We will also have some games during the back half of the spring semester where every member of the team will have the opportunity to get minutes and see the benefits of all the effort put in during winter break and the first half of spring semester,” said Megan Little.

The team’s commitment is not only limited to soccer-related activities. Indeed, the Camp Butler National Cemetery saw the UIS women’s soccer team engaged in wreath removal activities on Saturday, January 27. Furthermore, the team will contribute to various volunteering activities throughout the month of January.

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