BVU Women’s Soccer Compete Against ARC Rivals

Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

As the weather warms and the snow clears from Peterson Field at Buena Vista University, the transition to spring sports officially begins.

Swapping the quartet of winter sports events in an adapted athletic calendar year for new competition, the BVU Women’s Soccer team finally got the chance to take defend their home field. Originally set to play their season in the Fall as per a traditional year, 2020-2021 has been anything but normal.

Under the leadership of second-year Women’s Head Coach Benton Frayne, the side took to the turf for the first time against the Wartburg Knights this past Saturday and then traveled to Indianola to take on the Simpson Storm. The Beavers return to competition with a young core of starters coming off of a tough schedule and a 2-15 finish in their 2019 campaign. Last year’s pair of victories came the way of defeating Martin Luther and Bethany Lutheran 1-0 and 2-0 respectively. Head Coach Benton Frayne has acknowledged the changes in schedule and dynamic due to the pandemic, but since training began in February the team has begun to gel well together.

After a number of late-night training sessions during the Winter, Spring has made way for the excitement of finally being able to play the season. Something long overdue for Coach Frayne and his roster of 19.

“The main issue I believe we have faced is the length of the season,” says Frayne. “As a Division 3 school, we advocate and celebrate the ability to be involved in multiple passions, not just soccer.  With our season being extended for months has affected the athletes’ ability to have a balance.”

Using the long build-up to the season to implement and drill possession-based play, building on the stability and foundation set in place in the Fall of 2019.

“The challenge in playing possession is getting everyone on the same page of the playbook.  That leads to a lot of tough conversations between the athletes.  A formation is a framework, how the players’ play is up to them,” says Frayne.

Senior Defender Madison Field returns as the lone Beaver to score for the squad in 2019 with her lone goal against Monmouth College. Still chasing his first American Conference win as well, Frayne and the squad were blanked by ARC opposition in their eight matchups in 2019. As a result, winning both on and off the field has become the primary pair of goals for Frayne and the Beaver women.

“Team culture is our biggest obstacle,” says Frayne. “ In order to be successful at the college level, you need upperclassmen who have been in the program and have an understanding of the playbook and the practice expectations.”

Photo by Jordyn Daggs-Olson.

However, the start of the season’s conference play has been a struggle for BVU. Wartburg traveled to Storm Lake this past Saturday and handily took down the Beavers with a flurry of goals, 12-0. Six goals in both halves for the Knights ensured the visitors would cruise to victory on Peterson Field. The second game of the season and the first road trip for Buena Vista was unfortunately more of the same offensive struggles. The Storm defended their home field well against BVU, and a strike from Cassie Nash for Simpson gave the ladies in red the lead in the 5th minute. Simpson would find the net six more times before the final whistle and take down BVU in a final score of 7-0.

Entering the weekend and their next road matchup, the Beavers sit at 0-2 and have yet to record a shot on goal. Due to COVID-19 regulations, the Women will also only face ARC opposition. Their next game with the Luther Norse also takes place on Saturday, April 3, kicking off at 2:00 PM in Decorah.