Titans hope to peak during conference play

Photo courtesy of Detroit Titans Sports Info




It’s halfway through the Detroit Mercy women’s soccer season but team morale is high despite a series of disappointing results.

The Titans (3-8-1) started the season with a bang, turning in a strong performance against Big Ten opponent Wisconsin, a 2-1 victory over in-state foe Western Michigan and another convincing 3-0 result against IPFW.

After cruising by Lawrence Tech University in late August, the Titans proceeded to lose six straight games with only one of those games being played on Titan Field.

During this six-game slump, the Titans grinded out four games in five days, dropping two close ones against Northern Arizona and Grand Canyon on a road trip to Arizona.

The women are 0-3-0 in Horizon League play with a loss to Oakland on Thursday.

Despite the team’s struggles, 25-year head coach Mike Lupenec believes there are still positives to take out of the season.

“Defensively, we’re doing well,” he said. “It’s scoring goals that is the issue.”

The Titans have been outscored 14-6 in the past nine games.

Detroit Mercy entered this season with a much different team than last year after the loss of five seniors.

Lupenec said that with five freshmen in the lineup, mistakes are to be expected.

“We have good leadership from our upperclassmen doing what they can for the team,” said Lupenec.

Even though the team is young, he is looking toward the future of the program.

“This is good experience for the young players and they will be good later because of it,” said Lupenec.

He isn’t the only one on the team with high hopes for the rest of the season.

Senior captain and forward Suzie Redick is pleased with her team regardless of recent setbacks.

Redick recalled a pattern her team goes through every year and said it’s almost like they are more comfortable being the underdog at the beginning of the season.

“It is a bit discouraging because we do have such a good group of girls but the potential for our team is greater than last year,” said Redick. “Coach always says we peak in October for the conference tournament.”

Redick has tried to use her experience and lead the team with a positive attitude.

She encourages the Titans to persevere until they get the results they want.

“I have to be a more dominant voice this year now that I’m a captain,” said Redick.

Staying mentally strong is the theme of the season for the Titans soccer team.

Junior captain and midfielder Molly Kane had similar hopeful words about the group.

Kane said that she has always tried to focus on the things that the team is doing well.

“We’ve played hard and learned a lot from our losses,” said Kane.

The junior captain said that staying positive and focused is the most important thing for the team right now as they get deeper into conference play.

“It’s been a season of learning so far but we are still keeping our eyes on conference play,” said Kane.

The soccer team has six more games left in the regular season and all are against Horizon League opponents, which means many points are still up for grabs.

Moving forward, coach Lupenec and his captains described every game from here on out as a “must win” if they are to get back on track.