By Meliyah Venerable / Delta Sports Editor
The Missouri Valley College Women’s Soccer team defeated Mid America Nazarene University 4-0 in the quarterfinal round of the Heart of America Conference Postseason Tournament Saturday. This win advances the women to the semifinal round, which will be played Wednesday.
The Vikings ended their regular season with a 9-2-1 record in the conference. Which was not enough to win the conference. Which was one of the goals for the team.
“I think we started so good, but we ended kind of flat and we need to work on that,” Marina Barneda explained. “We need to compete at the same level every game even though it’s hard after too many games behind us. We need to work a bit on our passion during the games since that will give us the energy we need to beat other teams. We just need to be a team and play one for another inside the field to be more creative in the final third. We also need to work on finishing more and taking shots without thinking too much or waiting until being inside the box. There is always something to work on to be better and we just have to look for that to be the best team we can be.”
Valley’s lead began just within the first five minutes of the match. Valentina Cardoso Rodriguez made the first goal for Valley, with an assist from Laura Castano. The game continued to go back and forth until the half, neither team scored again. Three more from Paulo Sanabria gave Valley the 4-0 victory over the pioneers.
Sanabria scored her first hat-trick of this season. Goalkeeper Marina Barenda had her fourth shut out of the season and ended the game with four saves.
“I feel that the season has gone fairly well for us,” Morgan Dierks said. “We started out very strong, scoring lots of goals, which was honestly a little unexpected for me because we tend to struggle to score. I feel we were playing some of our best soccer at the beginning of the season. However, we struggled a little more recently to score, although we have still lost very few games – only 4, and 3 of them to nationally ranking teams. I’m excited to see where we will go in our postseason, and I think we can do well as long as we try to work together and keep working on our weaknesses.”
The Vikings will take on Benedictine College in the Semifinal round of the tournament. The women defeated Benedictine 2-1 in September, and hope to take the victory on Wednesday.
“The team’s postseason goal is to win a conference championship and qualify for the National Tournament, Head Coach Drew Hawkins said. “If you make it to Nationals then you have a chance to play for the ultimate goal.”