Marie Collop, Campus Carrier Assistant Sports Editor
The Berry women’s soccer team topped off their stellar season on Nov. 1 when they beat Sewanee 2-0 to win the regular season Southern Athletic Association (SAA) conference championship. Saturday was also senior day, making the win even more special.
Going into Saturday, Sewanee held a 5-1 record in conference and Berry held a 6-0 record. If Berry were to have lost the game, they would have shared the regular season crown with Sewanee.
Lorenzo Canalis, Berry’s head coach, said the team likes to prepare similarly from week to week even if the weekend game might mean a little bit more.
“We always prepare tactically for the next opponent we play,” Canalis said. “I am a firm believer in preparation when it comes to not just going into a game playing our game but also knowing the tendencies of the opponent and the style of their plays.”
| Bryanna Perry, staff photojournalist
The women’s soccer team defeated Sewanee last Saturday with two goals from
sophomore Maggie Midkiff. The Lady Vikings will face Millsaps in the Southern
Athletic Association quarterfinals on Nov. 7 in Danville, Ky.
Canalis said the win didn’t necessarily come from executing the initial game plan but was more attributed to a couple nice goals by sophomore Maggie Midkiff. She scored both the goals on Saturday, the first coming unassisted in the 51st minute, and the second during the 83rd minute by way of an assist from fellow sophomore Chandler Maddox.
The Vikings finished their regular season with an incredible 16-2 record, with their only losses coming from Trinity and Emory during September.
Canalis said he believes that the team’s insurmountable defense and successful front line has been the biggest contributors to such a successful season.
“We have a front line, specifically Maggie Midkiff, that scores on a regular basis,” Canalis said.
Midkiff leads the conference in goals scored, having scored 22 goals in 17 games, which Canalis said is “quite remarkable.”
Senior Rachel LeRoy said she believes that this season’s success is attributed to something a little more abstract.
“I think the biggest factor contributing to our success was relying on each other,” LeRoy said.
The team only lost three players after last season and brought on 15, making the team the biggest that it has ever been.
“We had to rely on the set of returners to know the expectations and incorporate the new players,” LeRoy said.
Similar to LeRoy, junior captain Rebecca Proschansky believes that the factor responsible for the team’s success can be found off the field more so than on it. She believes that the positive team chemistry is responsible for this season’s success.
“Having a bunch of new people on the team … it’s a time that if chemistry is not built and we don’t have great friendships off the field it shows in the games and on the field,” Proschansky said.
Last Saturday didn’t focus on the numerous freshmen but the two seniors, Caitlin Crawford and Rachel LeRoy.
“I look forward to senior day, and it ended up coming down to business, and we had every intention of winning the conference and that’s what we did. It met all my expections,” LeRoy said.
Although the team won the regular season, they have no guarantee of participating in the NCAA regionals, unless they win the SAA tournament which is being held at Centre College in Danville, Ky. starting on Nov. 7.
The Vikings will open the tournament playing Millsaps, whom they beat 4-0 earlier this season.
If the Vikings beat Millsaps on Friday, they will play the winner of the Birmingham-Southern College and Centre College game on Saturday. If they win both of these games, they will end up in the finals on Sunday.
“The challenge is we will have to play three games in three days, which from a soccer, fitness, health point of view is ridiculous,” Canalis said. “So I would say the team with the best athletes will win.”
The men’s soccer team is also traveling to the SAA tournament this weekend. They will travel to Hendrix College in Conway, Ark.to face Rhodes College, whom they tied against 1-1 two weeks ago.
Richard Vardy, the men’s head coach, said they will prepare similarly to how they did when they played Rhodes two weeks ago.
“We will practice penalty kicks, and we won’t push the guys too hard physically because three games in three days can be pretty tough,” Vardy said.
Vardy expects the team to gain some experience in the tournament and said the team has the potential to beat any team they face.