Soccer beats expectations


Savannah Gellings

Sophomore Midfielder Faizan Mohiuddin fights for the ball to move it down the field Oct. 28th, 2022.

Ryan Baker, Assistant Men's Sports Editor

Beating expectations was the theme for UW-Whitewater’s soccer team this year. Starting out the season with a 3-3 record, things seemed rather bleak. However, they stuck to their guns and ended the season with a 13-7-1 record. Including a visit to the semifinal game in the Coast-To-Coast Athletic Conference Championship tournament in Salisbury, Maryland.

Going into the tournament the Warhawks were seeded fourth and had a quarterfinal matchup against the fifth seed, UC Santa Cruz. In the first half, they were pushed to their limits, being outshot 10-1 by Santa Cruz. However, staying within themselves, sophomore midfielder Faizan Mohiuddin scored on a penalty kick in the 60th minute.

“Our coach did a little scouting before the game and on the bus. He let us know that the team commits a lot of fouls, they’re kind of reckless, and so he mentioned to me that we are probably going to get a penalty kick at some point,” Mohiuddin said. “I had the mindset that if that did happen, I was going to have to put it away.”

The score remained stagnant at 1-0 through the final buzzer. The win gave the Warhawks the opportunity to attempt an upset over the number one seed Christopher Newport, ranked 12th in the nation.

They put up a fight even with the disadvantages they had. Whitewater had to travel by bus for 16 hours, play a game the day previous, and still go up against a powerhouse. Meanwhile, Christopher Newport had very little travel and hadn’t played in a week.

Down 2-0 with about 30 minutes remaining, the season looked like it was over. However, Jalen Holley was able to put one in the net in the 78th minute. That was followed by a team goal in the last 90 seconds of regulation. Two goals by Christopher Newport in overtime put the dagger in the season for Whitewater, but that didn’t take anything away from the effort and guts shown on the field.

“We were playing one of the top teams in the country. The mindset was that we can play with anyone in the country and we’ve proven it. When we scored on the goal to tie it up it was a priceless moment,” head coach Tony Guinn said. “We had guys in tears, it was very emotional. Guys that were on the cusp of playing the last minutes of their college career, and all of sudden, oh my gosh, it’s not over. It was a beautiful moment to share with them.”

While the season is over, the Warhawks couldn’t be more proud and they have shown that they aren’t a team to overlook.

“Overall I think it was an up and down season. We had a lot of games where we played a ton of tough opponents and I think that we performed really well. We trained really hard for those and some of them we got the results we wanted, some we didn’t,” Mohiuddin said. “The important thing is knowing that on our day we can beat any team, and I think we have a good group of young players ready to make their mark next year. It’s time to start working for that.”

Nobody on the team or staff will say that they are a team to roll over. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Resilient, persistent, sedulous, are just some of the few descriptors that label this team.

“We overachieve. For example, Christopher Newport had a full-time head coach, assistant coach, part-time assistants and an operating budget of $80,000. Whitewater soccer has an operating budget of $18,000, and you have a part-time coach, with no part-time assistants,” Guinn said. “So I think we overachieved.”

UW-Whitewater finished 60th in the overall rankings out of 430 teams, pushing the narrative even further that they can compete with anyone in the nation. Next year they look to build off of that success.