In the opening game of the 2013 KCAC Postseason Tournament for women's soccer, No. 5 McPherson College is slated to take on No. 4 Southwestern College on Friday at 5 p.m. in Winfield.
"This season has been one of the craziest roller coaster rides I've been on since I became the head coach at McPherson College," Bulldog coach Robert Talley said. "It started with a great showing in our first game of the season against the No. 9 team in the nation UT-Brownsville to our blowout loss to Mid America Nazarene. We've just about seen it all and faced it all this year."
Mac's season opened with some stiff competition as the squad traveled to Texas to play a pair of difficult opponents in Texas at Brownsville and Northwood University, both ending in losses.
The first win of the year came the following week as they took out Briar Cliff University 2-1 at home. A tie and then four-straight defeats left the team at 1-6-1 at the midway point of the year.
October kicked off with McPherson's second victory but a three-game skid quickly halted the momentum.
The resilient Lady Bulldogs continued to push and were rewarded with three wins in a row, taking out Saint Mary, Tabor and Sterling by a combined 6-1 score.
Things were looking up for MC until a devastating loss at Southwestern all but guaranteed their fifth place seeding in the upcoming postseason tournament.
In the final game of the regular season, Bethany College, the second ranked team in the KCAC, beat Mac 3-0 giving the 'Dogs a 5-11-1 record.
"I don't like to use the excuse that we are a young program,” Talley said, “but when you look at our starting roster each game and notice there are between three and six freshmen who are starting it gives you a better perspective on why the season was so up and down.
"This team did a great job learning how to grow with each other both on and off the field and I couldn't have asked for a better group of ladies to coach."
This coming Friday, McPherson begins its post season push as they travel to play Southwestern College in the first round of the KCAC Postseason Tournament.
Coached by Joe Wood, the 8-9, 5-4 Moundbuilders are winners of three-straight, two of which were shutout victories.
They locked up the No. 4 slot in the league tournament with their 2-1 triumph over Sterling College this past Tuesday.
SWC is 5-2 at home this season and has scored 14 times in those contests. Their leading goal-getter for the year is Abbie Woods who has six in her 17 games played.
Katie Frank is a close second with five in her seven starts and 16 total outings. Kaci Hutchinson leads the Builders in assists with five, followed by Sierra Meyer who has four on the season.
Page 2 of 2 - Between the pipes, Southwestern has Kelsey Gresham who is 7-7 on the year with 20 goals allowed in her 15 contests. She has four shutouts and 78 saves in her 1190 minutes in goal.
"The girls realize that we are now in a three-game season with a one and done challenge for each game,” Talley said. “I believe our record is not a fair way to measure how good this team actually is and we'll need to make sure we bring our best game Friday in order to advance to the semifinals against Kansas Wesleyan."
The No. 1 KWU Coyotes await the winner of the No. 4 Moundbuilders vs. No. 5 Bulldogs contest. Second round action is set for Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. in the Hummer Sport Park in Topeka.