Thirty-three teammates cheering in celebration: Alaina Casey, Alexa Clampitt, Alli Macbeth, Allison Contenza, Alyssa Beckett, Annalise Jansen, Autumn Riedel, Becky Moss, Bri Straus, Chandler Clark, Cienna Kuhn, Claire Wiseman, Elizabeth Pierce, Emma Bowman, Emma Cook, Hailey McGuire, Haley Cannon, Jane Reiring, Jess Gast, Jill Roberts, Julia Flanagan, Karsten Bucci, Kate Helton, Kiera Kaeser, Kylie Brown, Kylie Cabana, Lauren Naso, Libby Johnson, Lindsey Pawlawski, Madeline Hall, Nora Metcalf, Rileigh Glassburn, and Whitney Ho. (OAC/ Bryn Mangold)
Ohio Northern’s very own Women’s Soccer team is not unfamiliar with holding the OAC Championship title, as they have held the title four times in the past six seasons. However, this 2022 season OAC Champion Title is historical. For the first time in Ohio Northern’s Women’s Soccer Team’s history, they hold the Championship Title for two years back-to-back.
Head Coach Batman conveyed that he never realized the team had not won the title in back-to-back years, nor did he realize the team advanced to the OAC Tournament Final for eight straight seasons.
The championship game was the Polar Bears vs. Capital University. Capital is one of the biggest rivals of the Women’s Soccer Team. Earlier in the season, they versed each other, and the game ended in a tie.
Coach Batman expressed, “I briefly mentioned it [the chance to win back-to-back years] to the girls in the locker room before we took the field vs. Capital. I told them you have an opportunity to do something special and be the first team in program history to win it back-to-back.”
Warming up for the game, Becky (Rebecca) Moss, the team’s senior goalkeeper, could tell that the team was quiet to start but everyone was focused and getting in the zone for the game. She mentions, “This game was a little quieter than normal as a lot of the girls were very focused on the game. We had all been to the Capital locker room earlier this season and left with a tie which, to us, was unacceptable. The energy picked up as we were about to enter the field and did our pregame prep.”
Junior player Jillian Roberts was pumped up for the game as she stated, “We were jumping around in the locker room, singing, and laughing. We knew we were more than capable of beating Capital based on our tie to them earlier in the season. The team wanted this second shot at Capital, but we knew it was going to be a dogfight, as it always is. Considering Capital as one of our biggest rivals and knowing we always give each other our best games, we knew it was going to be competitive for the entire 90 minutes.”
Roberts scored the game-winning goal in the 61st minute.
Alexa Clampitt, Emma Bowman, Jill Roberts, and Kylie Brown ran to hug Roberts in celebration of her game-winning goal. (OAC/ Bryn Mangold)
She adds, “Being in the game, I was anxious knowing what was on the line. But I knew after the first half ended in a tie, we were more than capable of putting a goal in the back of the net. When coach told me he needed me to step up and be big in big moments, I knew he was trusting in me to go make something happen.”
Moss knew the win was monumental as the game ended 1-0, “We knew from day one of preseason that we had a target on our backs from our previous season. We had no option but to come out every day and play like it was the OAC finals because we knew that we would be getting everyone’s best game of the season.”
Moss says that there was great excitement and adrenaline during every game, especially when the stakes were high. “When you’ve been playing a sport for a majority of your life and training with the same girls for months on end, a sort of autopilot and trust for your teammates takes place,” she continues.
Coach Batman notes, “They [the team] rose to the occasion. They were so deserved.” He continues with what he is inevitably proud of the girls from the whole season, “The atmosphere they provide, daily. They are a fantastic group of young women – competitive, goofy, and a bunch of sisters. They make us [the coaching staff] want to be at our best daily for them.”
The Women’s Soccer team is filled with pride and joy as they overcame highs and lows throughout the season and proved their dedication, hard work, passion, and commitment to the sport. The ONU community is proud of the team and shares the excitement with them.
Yet, as Head Coach Batman recaps the season, he expresses how much the team needs to be genuinely proud of the season, “Every season will have adversity. How we choose to handle those moments will determine how we move forward as a group. We can find ways around, through, or over, or we don’t. We look at it as simple as that. Each year we’ll have an injury, illness, loss of family members, thinking they’ve failed a bio-chem test even though they got a 98% on it…all of it. Highs were all the wins, the competition vs. some new teams that we’ve never played, and the fun moments in the locker room or post-practice conversations, or even crossbars. Lows, tying, haha. Tying teams, we outshot by 20, but the girls didn’t dwell on those games. If anything, it fueled them. We lost two games all year, one to Case Western at Case 2-1 [who is now in the final four], and the other was to Loras College in the round of 32 in the NCAA’s. You can’t look back and consider the season a bad one; we have lots to be proud of.”