Women’s soccer makes push for conference crown
Sports Park University’s Ashley Maxwell takes the ball down the field.
By Zach Swalley The excitement of a new season can ease the pain of the last. Hard work over the summer has prepared Park University’s women’s soccer team for plans to dominate the American Midwest Conference and get back onto the national stage. Since opening the season with a 7-0 win over Avila, the Pirates kept four more opponents off the scoreboard before suffering their first loss of the season, a 1-0 overtime setback at Graceland. Park also earned its first conference win of the season over William Woods University to start the season at 1-0.
They return with firepower from last year’s squad while blending in new talent to make a push not only for a conference crown, but a national one as well. Sophomore forward Ashley Maxwell knows the challenges that lie ahead, but is happy about the team’s progress. “We’re further along now than we were at this point last season,” Maxwell said. Maxwell skyrocketed as a freshman in 2008 to the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and earned NAIA Third-Team All-American honors with 47 shots on goal, converting 13 of them.
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Park University’s Nichole Hemmingsen attempts to score a goal in a recent game Junior midfielder Lisa Buzzotta, who landed on the secondteam all-conference squad, said the intense summer workouts — running, weights and scrimmages — set the stage for a successful season. “All the hard work is starting to pay off.” Adding to the mix are two incoming freshman twins from Shawnee Mission East (Kan.) High School. Dana and Nichole Hemmingsen racked up a truckload of honors before arriving at Park. After their first game, they gained confidence about playing at the college level. “At first I was really nervous,” Nichole Hemmingsen said. “Now I know I can do it.”
Park University alumni magazine, published Fall 2009