Swept up in the last few days and really, weeks, of the Norse Women’s Soccer team was the much deserved hype and success of the much-ballyhooed Men’s Soccer team.
And rightfully so. They’re the best team in the country and have only allowed three goals on the season.
The Norse didn’t exactly start the Great Lakes Valley Conference slate with a resounding win. They fell hard to 17th-ranked UW-Parkside 3-0 Sept. 12 before Ike blew through Chicago and delayed what could have been a redeeming game against Lewis.
No doubt the Norse had their opportunities, missing two open solid chances at the net.
Unfortunately, those two shots on goal represented 2/3 of the opportunities the Norse would have all afternoon.
UW-Parkside is no slouch. They lead the GLVC with more than four goals per game and also shots on goal. The Norse really hadn’t faced a team that’s near the top in every offensive category. Moreover, they hadn’t won in Kenosha, Wisc., since 2001. So it’s not the end of the world.
All that aside, the Norse are quietly the nation’s No. 11 team in Division II, something that the vast majority of this campus probably does not know. A loss at Parkside shouldn’t have shocked too many people, and it doesn’t diminish their Top 15 ranking, a rather welcome surprise considering the expectations weren’t terribly high for the Norse soccer team.
The Norse have taken care of business in non-GLVC play, including an exhibition win over the Bobcats of the Division I Mid-American Conference. A big regional win over Ohio foe Findlay is a big tournament r’eacute;sum’eacute; booster.
However, it’s hard to tell where the Norse are as a team. The loss at UW-Parkside, if history tells us anything, was inevitable. It shouldn’t destroy their r’eacute;sum’eacute; come NCAA tournament time. But they are only four games into the season. To be 3-1 with an exhibition win against a Division I team is rather impressive. I guess we’ll find out how good they are as the GLVC season progresses. Playing Lewis Sept. 14 might have given them the sour taste of a sound beating.
On a side note, I was looking up and down the roster of the Women’s Soccer team. Apparently, I had made a mistake. Angela Healy’s basketball career may be over, but she has one more season of eligibility in another sport – soccer, in which she starred at Highlands High School several years ago.
It can’t possibly hurt to have a national champion standing in the net.