Soccer Success

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Game photo by Edda Veelik ’16.

CATEGORY: Student Life
TYPE: Articles

Under the stadium lights with the season's first snow falling, the Macalester women's soccer team won its final home game of the year Nov. 5—an undeniable highlight of a successful season.

“They’re going to remember that game forever,” head coach Michele Cornish says of her players. “It was a semi-final, at home, at night. It was a magical game, and the fans were just unbelievable.”

The 5-0 win against St. Olaf sent the Scots to the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) playoff championship, where their season ended with a loss to top-seeded College of St. Benedict. The Scots finished second in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) regular season standings with a 8-3 conference record.

After the playoffs, accolades began rolling in for the Mac athletes. Scoring star Georgia Cloepfil ’14 (Portland, Ore.) was named MIAC Player of the Year. Cloepfil, Bonnie Bentson ’14 (Minneapolis), and Bonnie Gale ’15 (Anchorage, Alaska) were named to the All-MIAC team, and Maggie Molter ’14 (Cedarburg, Wis.) was named to the All-Conference Honorable Mention team.

As Cornish explains, this year's players approached their season in small steps—one practice and one game at a time—and worked together as a close-knit team: “An individual’s success was everybody's success.”

The 2013 team's six seniors look back on their experience at Mac—on and off the soccer field:

Bonnie Bentson
Hometown: Minneapolis
Position: Midfield/defender
Major/minor: Biology major, chemistry minor, and biochemistry emphasis
Favorite classes: Human Physiology and Neuroanatomy
Other activities: Youth girls soccer coach, Taylor Shadowing Fellowship (shadowing health care professionals)

“I love that everyone at Mac is so different, but that we all are here to learn from each other. It’s a great environment to go to school in.”

Georgia Cloepfil
Hometown: Portland, Ore.
Position: Forward
Major: English
Favorite class: Any class with Mark Mazullo
Other activities: Study abroad in Nepal, track and field, internship at Little Brown Mushroom publishing house, Consonant magazine

“This team has taught me balance: balancing fun with competition, balancing inner diva with composure, balancing leading by example and leading with words, balancing celebration dances with celebration hugs, and balancing an obsession with soccer with a very full life.”

Saskia Ilcisin
Hometown: Beaverton, Ore.
Position: Goalkeeper
Major/minor: Chemistry major and statistics minor
Favorite classes: Philosophy of Law, Cell Biology, Genetics
Other activities: Volunteering at a hippotherapy program and with the Jeremiah Program

“Izzi Speer and Maggie Molter are the wisest people on campus. If we all had the time for it, I would just sit in and listen to their conversations; they’re absolutely fascinating. The biggest lesson I've learned over the past four years is how to attempt to balance everything. Izzi and Maggie are always there to give perspective and tell you when you're pushing it too far, something that can be difficult to recognize on your own.”

Maggie Molter
Hometown: Cedarburg, Wis.
Position: Midfielder/forward
Major/minor: Physics and music majors
Favorite class: Late Beethoven
Other activities: Study abroad in Austria, summer research in condensed matter physics at Macalester and high-energy astrophysics at the University of Minnesota, Mac musical ensembles as a trumpet player

“[At Mac] people are curious, intellectual, weird, and adventurous. The environment is supportive, dynamic, and collaborative rather than cutthroat. And the cheers at the soccer games are unforgettable—I’ll miss our bagpipe imitations.”

Ellen Palmquist
Hometown: Fort Collins, Colo.
Position: Goalkeeper
Major/Minor: Biology and geography majors
Favorite class: Botany
Other activities: Study abroad in New Zealand, bagpipe lessons, goalkeeper coach for a high school team

“For me, Mac soccer has been more than just another team. The past four years have been filled with long-lasting traditions, inside jokes, and amazing friendships. I’ve learned how to do a mean jig and I’ve learned what it feels like to have an entire team support you.”

Izzi Speer
Hometown: Madison, Wis.
Position: Forward
Major/minor: Neuroscience studies and psychology majors
Favorite class: Cognitive Neuroscience
Other activities: Internships at NAMI Minnesota and Ramsey County Mental Health Court, psychology lab research, study abroad through Emory's Mind/Body Sciences Program

“Every year during preseason we pass down a piece of advice from former player Tressa Versteeg ’11 that, while simple, highlights what people tend to forget during their college experience: ‘Do what you want.’”

PUBLISHED: 12/02/2013