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Women’s soccer gives gutsy effort in loss to unbeaten Spring Arbor

The Indiana Wesleyan University women’s soccer team lost 0-2 Wednesday, Oct. 22 in a physical contest against the Crossroads League’s only undefeated team, Spring Arbor University.

From the start of the game, the Cougars, ranked No. 9 in the NAIA, put a lot of pressure on the Wildcat defense. They finally broke through in the 12th minute when Shannon Balcer (jr) headed in a corner kick from the far post to give Spring Arbor a 1-0 lead.

Photo by by Becka Roth

Photo by by Becka Roth

The Wildcats held strong the rest of the half, quelling several Cougar attacks while producing a few offensive strikes of their own.

The even possession continued through into the second half, but the physicality of both teams increased significantly after the intermission. Overall, IWU committed eight fouls in the contest, while the referees called three fouls on Spring Arbor.

In the 68th minute, a deflected ball by IWU goalie Megan Weiss (fr) bounced off of Spring Arbor’s Aubrey Schierbeek (fr) and into the goal to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead and conclude the game’s scoring.

Wildcats Head Coach Tim Strader said he was proud of his players’ effort against a very talented Spring Arbor squad.

“To lose 2-0 against a very high-quality team like Spring Arbor is really good,” Strader said. “The fight [the team] brought was unbelievable.”

As the last home regular-season game of the season, the Wildcats celebrated Senior Night for their seven seniors: Kerrin Clancy, Caitlyn Mains, Tracey Tiernon, Elisa Teller, Haley Svrcina, Megan Hardesty and Jillian Owens.

photo by Becka Roth

photo by Becka Roth

“The seniors have showed a lot of heart and determination for us all year,” Strader said.

With the loss, the Wildcats moved to 3-4-1 in Crossroads League play. They conclude their regular season 3 p.m. Saturday at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

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Coach Moats focuses on players, not 700th win

Without even realizing it, Wildcats Head Volleyball Coach Candace Moats brought home her 700th career win Oct. 7 against Mt. Vernon.

In previous years, her assistant coaches kept track of her record, but this year she had no idea that the game was a landmark win.

“I came to the office later that day and someone tells me congratulations for 700, and I said, ‘700 what?’” Moats said.

Kelly Cypher (jr) said Moats is more focused on her players than she is her own record.

“She isn’t just about the wins we get or the stats of the game,” Cypher said. “What she wants more than anything, is to be invested in each one of us as her players to help us grow as a person in our character and our walk with the Lord.”

Photo taken by Jared Johnson

Photo taken by Jared Johnson

At her first college, Nebraska University, she struggled to find her own identity outside of volleyball. She transferred to Crown College, a Christian college, and carries that experience over to coaching and supporting her players.

“I just try to live as a woman of God would live in front of the girls that he gives me to mentor and in some ways be accountable for,” Moats said.

“She really wants to know who we are outside of volleyball,” Cypher said. “As we go through the volleyball season, she reminds us of the bigger picture of why we play: ‘For Him.’”

Moats had not planned to go into coaching. She was prepared to go into elementary education, but, as she states, that was not God’s plan for her. She helped coach her final semester at Crown since she was ineligible as a transfer student. When the head coaching position opened up after that semester, the current head coach recommended her for the job.

After 10 years coaching at Crown, she felt God “nudging” her to go. After attending Crown herself, she had built a strong support system of family and mentors, which made leaving difficult.

“I didn’t really want to [leave] because I was very comfortable there,” Moats said. “Through a lot of fasting and praying over a course of time God made it very clear that I was supposed to go.”

Moats said God provided her with a specific Bible passage, Genesis 12, to strengthen her during this time of decision-making.

“He’s talking to Abraham and says, ‘I want you to go to the land that I will show you and I will make your name great and I will bless you,’” Moats said.

Moats said she sees that blessing all around her, even now at Indiana Wesleyan University.

“I look back at the years and, even this year, we have squeaked by so many matches that could have put us in a situation and we wouldn’t be where we are,” Moats said. “But again, there is this blessing that just seems to be there and I am so grateful for that.”

Photo taken by Jared Johnson

Photo taken by Jared Johnson

Moats spent 8 years coaching at Grace College before being called to IWU, where she has been for the past 13 years. She tries to focus on growth and bringing new ideas to the team rather than how many more years she will coach.

“I’m just trying to enjoy this more and more every year instead of fighting it,” Moats said.

Moats said her assistant coaches, players and even other teams give her new ideas and coaching strategies.

“Every year I’m thinking differently,” Moats said. She doesn’t want the team to feel like a “dictatorship.” Instead, she tries to build community through teamwork and collaboration.

Student manager Cindy Coats (sr) said she has enjoyed learning from Coach Moats.

“[It] has been such an honor because she is always so humble as a coach,” Coats said. “She always gives glory to God and praises her team.”

Moats said the relationships she has built over the years have “impacted” her, “shaped” her and made her different.

“The highlight for me is all that I’ve learned by being in relationship with all of the women that I’ve been able to be a part of their lives,” Moats said.

Moats said she hopes IWU will be one of the final schools she works at before retirement. She credits the strength and vision of the Athletic Department with the joy she receives from working at IWU.

“God’s created this opportunity, this career, this calling for me and I need to be faithful in it till the end,” Moats said.

Coach Moats Timeline

A timeline of Coach Moats’ career from Crown College to win number 700.

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Second half surge pushes men’s soccer past St. Francis

Three second-half goals lifted the No. 11 Indiana Wesleyan University men’s soccer team as the Wildcats defeated the St. Francis Cougars by a final score of 4-1 Wednesday, Oct. 15.

The Cougars came in having lost five games in a row, but Interim Head Coach Joe Schulman said he still expected a tough game.

“Being at the top of the conference, everyone is kind of gunning for you and the fact that we’re ranked nationally just accentuates that,” Schulman said. “We definitely expected a battle.”

Corey Lopez (jr) works against a Cougar defender. (photo by Lauren Dafoe)

Corey Lopez (jr) works against a Cougar defender. (photo by Lauren Dafoe)

Wildcat Field was slippery and wet for the contest after a few days of heavy rain. Tyrone Martin (sr) said the less-than-ideal conditions forced the Wildcats to stay disciplined.

“[The conditions] caused us to focus a lot more, concentrate a lot more and just be ready,” Martin said

The Wildcats started the first half lethargically, but took a 1-0 lead into halftime on a goal by Derek Williams (fr) with four minutes to go in the half. Keaton Albert (jr) got the ball past two defenders in the corner to set up Williams’ first collegiate goal.

After a passionate speech from Dylan Bronkema (sr), it was all Wildcats in the second half. The team came out of halftime with much more energy and effort.

“This team’s pretty mature,” Schulman said. “We were able to rally at halftime and really bring significant effort into the second half.”

But the Cougars would not go quietly, tying the game at 1 on a goal from Alexis Ferreira da Silva (jr) that slipped right through goalkeeper Josh Goepper’s (jr) hands. Ferreira da Silva drew boos from the Wildcat faithful after a flashy celebration, sliding through the grass and posing in front of the bleachers.

Taylor Lehman (jr) scored the third goal of the night for the Wildcats. (photo by Lauren Dafoe)

Taylor Lehman (jr) scored the third goal of the night for the Wildcats. (photo by Lauren Dafoe)

Martin answered for the Wildcats about 10 minutes later, putting the Wildcats up 2-1. Corey Lopez (jr) weaved the ball through three Cougars defenders to assist Martin on the goal. Four minutes later, Taylor Lehman (jr) headed a pass from Evan Young (so) into the back of the net for the Wildcats’ third goal.

Things heated up when Goepper and Cougar defenseman Alex Fletcher (sr) got tangled up in front of the net and began to shove each other. Fletcher was given a yellow card.

Seth Kintigh (jr) helped the Wildcats pour it on late with a goal assisted by Young, and the Wildcats cruised to a 4-1 victory.

The Wildcats won their 11th straight game and remain in first place in the Crossroads League, with an undefeated league record of 6-0 and overall record of 12-1. Their next game is Saturday, Oct. 18 at home against Huntington University.

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Volleyball plays everyone in victory over Spring Arbor

Katey Holler (jr) prepares herself for a powerful serve // Photo taken by Jared Johnson

Katey Holler (jr) prepares herself for a powerful serve // Photo taken by Jared Johnson

The Indiana Wesleyan University women’s volleyball team used a balanced attack to defeat Spring Arbor University in straight sets (25-12, 25-13, 25-20) Wednesday, Oct. 15.

In a battle between IWU, the Crossroads League’s No. 1 team (11-1 in league play), and Spring Arbor, and the last-place team in the league (0-13), Wildcats Head Coach Candace Moats made sure all 15 of her players got in the game.

“I really wanted to generate some encouragement for some of the players that don’t get much playing time,” Moats said.

Leading the offensive attack for the Wildcats were Kylie Portera (so) and Alijah Mulitauopele (sr) with seven and six kills, respectively. Katey Holler (jr) set up her spikers to the tune of 28 set assists and Ashlen Buck (so) added 11 digs for IWU. Every Wildcat player registered at least one kill, set assist or dig.

But the game wasn’t all positive for the Wildcats. Moats still hopes to see her players take more initiative going after the ball.

Remy Bucknor (so) unleashes a spike on Spring Arbor // Photo taken by Jared Johnson

Remy Bucknor (so) unleashes a spike on Spring Arbor // Photo taken by Jared Johnson

“There’s still timidity there,” Moats said. “There’s not a lot of directing traffic.”

Moats was happy, however, with how the Wildcats were able to stay focused despite playing a less-talented team.

“We wanted to keep up the passion and energy, and I think we did that,” Moats said. “This weekend we are playing some teams that will play their best matches of the season against us, so we really have to be on our guard.”

The Wildcats host Bethel College at 7 p.m. Friday and Goshen College at 3 p.m. Saturday this weekend in Crossroads League play.

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