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Senior players enjoy special weekend as Colonels continue fight for playoff spot

Photo by: Jordan Bergeron

Photo by: Jordan Bergeron

Photo by: Jordan Bergeron

Senior players enjoy special weekend as Colonels continue fight for playoff spot

October 20, 2017

With the regular season nearing its end, Nicholls soccer will be faced with an important
weekend of play. This weekend’s results will be imperative in determining the seeding in the
Southland Conference tournament at season’s end. As the Colonels (2-5- 1 in SLC play) currently
sit on the outside looking in at the 9 th seed, they will have to have good results in weekend’s
matches to increase their chances at the playoffs. The Colonels face reigning Southland
Conference Champions University of Central Arkansas on Friday at 4 p.m. and Northwestern
State University on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Nicholls soccer will also honor its senior players through the events of senior weekend, a
weekend dedicated to celebrating the academic and athletic accomplishments of the team’s
senior players.

Seniors being honored include midfielder Emily Werenskiold, midfielder Alison
Ward, defender Katherine Kelly, forward Kirstie Champagne, defender Nicole Dupin, and
midfielder Mie Elvestad. Of the weekend, Dupin said, “It’s really just something to be proud of
for staying and seeing out my career, being able to look back and say that we stayed all four
years and gave everything that we had while we were here.”

This is a special weekend for senior players, as it gives them a chance to reminisce with
family and friends on their years of play at the University.

“They love it, you can tell with the buzz around the players. It’s something they look
forward to all year. It’s celebrating four years of hard work, in the classroom and on the field.
They deserve it, so we do a lot for the girls on senior weekend,” said assistant coach Danny Free.

“We’ve got a meal here tomorrow night, we have a video to honor them on the field on Sunday.
It’s a real buzz around the place, all their friends and family come to watch.”

While the festivities of this weekend may appear as a potential distraction, players are
locked in and focused on the big picture. Senior defender Katherine Kelly explained, “[This
weekend] really just puts everything into perspective, how quick these four years have gone, just
being able to count the days that are left. We want to enjoy this weekend, but we want to
continue our season too so the main goal is to win.”

Friday’s opponent, Central Arkansas, comes into the weekend 8-8 on the season and 5-3
in Conference play. The defending Southland Conference champions defeated Houston Baptist
University 2-0 in their last game. The Colonels were defeated in last year’s matchup by a score
of 3-0.

“[The University of Central Arkansas] won the conference last year. They’ve got two
very good players who stand out. We’ll have to try and shut down those two dangerous players,
obviously we won’t focus on just those two players but they are the main threats. They will be
good, they haven’t had a year like they had last year but they’re still a good team,” said Free.

While Northwestern State may be last in the Conference with a 1-7 Conference record,
the Colonels will not overlook them. Free explained that they had some unlucky results and
should have more wins than they have currently. Last year’s matchup between the two teams
ended up going to overtime and ending in a tie, consequently knocking the Colonels out of
playoff contention.

“From a personal standpoint, I can’t speak for the players, but that was one of the most
frustrating games of the year. We ended up drawing the game. We went into two overtimes,
which are ten minutes long each, and I think we managed 12 shots and 10 minutes, which is
outrageous statistically for soccer,” said head coach Mac McBride. “To come away without winning that was desperately disappointing. It was the most chances that we had in any game that we played the whole of last season, yet we only tied it. I don’t doubt the players will remember that.”

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