Coach Ed Quirk talks strategy on the sidelines. (Hannah Genig/MJ)

BY HANNAH GENIG, Sports Editor 

Saturday was a great day for soccer and a great day to wear pink. The University of Michigan-Dearborn women’s soccer team defeated Wayne State University in a nail-biting win at their Breast Cancer Awareness game.

In their last game of season play, the Wolverines put up a strong force against the tough and aggressive Warriors and came out with an impressive 4-3 victory. Despite their recent loss to Wayne State back in September, the wolverines approached the game ready to dominate with a home field advantage and some bright pink shirts.  

These athletes have been working incredibly hard to improve their game, stay conditioned and do whatever it takes to win games. According to head coach Ed Quirk, the team practices three times per week, which includes the training of individual skills and tactics of each player at that particular practice.

“We’ve always had a couple starters. But since we try to make the playing time as fair as possible, the substitutes have closed the gap. So now, when we have an injury or we’re missing a player, I feel that everyone is capable of being part of the eleven players on the field,” Quirk said.

Even though this is a club sport, which includes voluntary attendance and participation, every member of the team plays an integral part in the overall success.

“We have a good amount of new players, and the older ones really opened up and started to trust all of us both on and off the field. I think the trust has really grown and that has definitely helped us play,” Monica Sabella said.

The dedication and trust that exudes from this group becomes apparent on the field when they dominate a team as strong as Wayne State.

Most notably, Nicole Losek brought an unrivaled strength to the game when she scored a goal late in the first half that evened out the playing field, as well as an incredible penalty shot and great ball handling by Brooke Hunter.

The women's soccer team defeated Wayne State University at their breast cancer awareness game. Photo courtesy of Hannah Genig
The women’s soccer team defeated Wayne State University at their breast cancer awareness game. Photo courtesy of Hannah Genig

This team runs like a well-oiled machine. Much of which can be attributed to the group’s undeniable chemistry.

“Our chemistry as a team has definitely improved tremendously as this season progressed. We started the season with a lot of new faces and a lot of new skill but as the season went on, we were able to figure out how to smoothly play as a team,” Sarah Kosowski said.  “I’m very excited for how far our team has come and how much the team has grown throughout the last couple years.”

With endurance and confidence at an extreme high with a great ending to the regular season, the team now prepares for their tournament in November.

In order to keep priorities in check and maintain high academic standards, coach Quirk has decided to put a strong emphasis on classroom success to supplement the field success.

“The girls will get one week off to rest and focus on academics, especially with midterms coming up. Then the week before the tournament, we’ll have three solid training sessions. Oakland University will definitely be our biggest competition.”

“The tournament should be very competitive, but if we play at our best, I’m confident that we will come out of it with a positive outcome. Win or lose though, it’s going to be a great day of soccer,” Kosowski said.