Despite losing seven seniors, Blues hope to keep improving

Dave Scott

The Lady Blues soccer team began their 2008 season far from home on the majestic isles of Hawaii, and their season ended last Sunday, far from home on the high plains of Texas in the second round of the NCAA Regional Tournament.

Although the Blues struggled early in the season, losing five of their first 10 games, the team turned up the heat against Rockhurst University, winning 2-1 in overtime.

“We started off rough,” said Jessica Mainz, senior. “But against Rockhurst we turned it around, everyone stepped up. We had trouble scoring, but we got a few goals and we went from there.”

After the Rockhurst game, the Blues went on the warpath, leaving a swath of destruction laden with MIAA opponents and setting a new school record with a seven-game win streak. The streak didn’t last long, as the Blues would soon lose to conference rival Truman State.

The Blues rebounded and won the next three games, outscoring opponents 7-1 before heading into the NCAA Regional Tournament in Canyon, Texas where they faced West Texas A&M in the first round.

The Blues shot down the Buffs’ hope of advancing to the second round with a double overtime victory. In the final game, the Blues again met conference foe Truman State. Truman had already beat the Blues twice during the regular season, and the third match-up turned out to be no charm as the Blues fell to the Bulldogs 2-1.

After playing in the season finale and wrapping up her Washburn career, Mainz chose not to place blame.

“We’re not pointing fingers anywhere,” said Mainz. “We could’ve won our last game, but we didn’t. We won as a team and we lost as a team.”

Despite losing seven seniors to graduation, Mainz sees the team as fit to accomplish goals next season and continue the proud tradition of the team.

“There’s some girls that know they have to step up,” she said. “We’re graduating seven seniors, but I think they’ll be OK.”

The Blues finished the season 15-7-2, marking the second 15-win season in coach Tim Collins’ tenure at Washburn.