Minnesota soccer reflects on the season as it draws to a close

Senior Marisa Windingstad and freshman Katie Duong reflect on this past season

Julianna Landis

      For co-captain Marisa Windingstad, this season has been unlike any past year in her time with Gopher soccer. 

  With an overall record of 3-11-4, the team is in a very different position from just last season, where they had an overall record of 12-9-2 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament after winning the Big Ten Championship. 

  As her senior season comes to a close, Windingstad reflected on the year alongside freshman Katie Duong.

 From the beginning of the season, Minnesota knew it would be a transition year given that they had so many young players on the team, but the players have been resilient through the ups and downs. The most impressive quality of this year’s team was their passion and how every player was committed to fighting for the team even when game results didn’t go their way, Windingstad said. 

  Windingstad also spoke about what about Gopher Soccer she wanted to see endure through future seasons, “The biggest thing is we like our team culture here… that’s our number one thing I want to see that carry over when I leave, is that culture and that grittiness that Gopher Soccer is. Along with that will, hopefully, come that execution piece.” 

  That emphasis on culture is what drew freshman Katie Duong, one of the top players in her grade class, to Minnesota’s program. That strong foundation is even more important in a season full of tests for the young team, said Duong, “Coach has talked a lot about how you’re tested most in times of failure. I think having to try to learn and rework things every single game has taught us a lot about the players we have and what we’re capable of as a team.”  

Duong also said that the upperclassmen represent everything she would want from a team and the players continuously work hard in spite of the troubles they’ve had on the scoreboard. 

  Even with the positives, there are some things from this season that Windingstad wants to stay firmly in the rearview mirror of future teams, “From my standpoint, I would just like the returners to just never want to feel the way we feel at this current moment. Because I’ve never had to go through this at my time here, and I want them to never have to do that again.” 

  Minnesota’s final game of the regular season is on Sunday, October 27 at 1pm, where they will face Illinois on the road.