The Wildcats finished with a 7–1–1 Big Sky conference record, tops in the conference. In the eyes of Tim Crompton, the Weber State University women’s soccer team made vast improvements this season.
Despite the regular season success, WSU dropped their first game in the conference tournament to end the season. Crompton, the ‘Cats coach, said he was proud of his team’s effort.
“It was a fun group to be around,” Crompton said. “(The season) was gratifying for the seniors, and the younger players played very well. The overall cohesiveness of the team as the season went on got better and better.”
Weber State went 3–12–3 in 2017 and missed the postseason. The Wildcats lost nine games by one goal last season, but were 7–2 in such contests this year.
Sophomore defender Haley Thomas said the turnaround can be contributed to her squad having extra motivation.
“This year, we stayed focused for a full game,” Thomas said. “Last year, we would get scored on in the last two minutes. Our want and desire was stronger this year, and we played more as a team.”
After the Wildcats finished the regular season on Oct. 19, it was a full two weeks until they played another game. WSU lost 2–0 to the University of Montana in the conference tournament, and Thomas said the layoff did not help her team.
“We practiced hard during the two weeks, but the intensity of a real game is different,” Thomas said. “I will give Montana credit, because their bench had an unreal energy. I think it motivated their players on the field to work hard.”
Freshman midfielder Taylor Scadlock scored four goals for the Wildcats in 2018. She said her initial season exceeded expectations.
“It really helped my confidence,” Scadlock said. “I am so glad I got to be a part of the team this year.”
Thomas highlighted an Oct. 5 overtime win over the University of Northern Colorado as her most memorable experience of the campaign.
“Madi Garlock had the game-winning goal and I was so glad,” Thomas said. “I started crying because I was so happy we won. Beating a tough team is a great feeling.”
Scadlock said she will use this season as a learning experience going forward.
“It’s going to help me grow because I want to get better every year,” Scadlock said. “I not only want to make myself better, but help the team improve.”
Thomas said her team is going to be motivated to win the conference tournament in 2019.
“We are going to do whatever it takes,” Thomas said. “We might have come out a little flat (against Montana), and we weren’t playing as intent as we normally do. If we get back to that point, we are going to keep everyone motivated and come out with an unreal intensity.”
Crompton said he will look back on the season for the accomplishments instead of lamenting what could have been.
“The girls had a phenomenal year,” Crompton said. “There are only two trophies you can earn, and we got one of them. The loss to Montana doesn’t take anything away from our overall performance.”