Win after win is what the Hastings College women’s soccer team has seen so far this season. They have tied their first game against Benedictine (who was ranked second at the time) and have won seven consecutive games since.
Being knocked out of the first round of nationals at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) level three years in a row, the Broncos look to stay hungry, having one of their best records to start off a season in years.
“I think it’s going fine. I think we are going as a team each and every game, and we are dealing with the challenge that we are faced and learning from them. We are striving to get better each and every single day. Sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back in both areas. There are things we can learn from in every single game,” said Head Coach Chris Clements.
The Broncos were picked again to win the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) for the fifth year in a row.
“Ultimately, I think that we need to ask ourselves, ‘Why are we holding back?’ We need to start playing and training not for ourselves and selfish reasons but start playing and training for the team. We need to not worry so much about the rankings and stats and just play–play the game that we all love. This, I believe, will take us to the next level,” said junior Sally Stoltenberg.
So far this season, the Broncos have tallied 27 goals on the season. Leading the way has been senior Rhiannon Castle de Ortega, who has six goals on the season. Right behind Castle de Ortega with five goals each are sophomores Berkley Sharp and Courtney Doeschot.
Castle de Ortega is playing in her first season on the field with the Broncos, coming from Western Nebraska Community College. Sitting out a year due to off-the-field things, Ortega struggled at first but is now having things click together to help the Broncos to success.
“It has been very, very hard. Sitting out my first year, I felt like I had no responsibility on the team and I lost my role because a senior and then I was put in the junior class and I didn’t feel as part of that class because they had been together for three years, and I just felt like an outsider. Coming into this year, I felt the same but I have stayed being myself and I keep working hard and leading an example for the freshmen. My goal is to leave the program better than how I came in,” Castle de Ortega said.
So far the team is undefeated in GPAC play, continuing that streak by tying Wednesday night’s game against Concordia with a score of 1-1.
With seven regular games left in the season, the Broncos continue to be undefeated, but with a tough GPAC conference, the task will be hard for the team.
“Yes, I know we can. We just have to keep pushing and find that “why” and keep playing for our “why,” and we will definitely stay undefeated,” Castle de Ortega said.
HC will host the Tigers of Dakota Wesleyan Saturday, October 6 at 3 p.m. on Lloyd Wilson Field.