Redbirds Host Valparaiso for Senior Day
Written by Jose Sandoval on April 7, 2021
Photo courtesy of goredbirds.com
NORMAL,Ill.- The Illinois State women’s soccer team (4-5, 4-3 MVC) host the visiting Valparaiso Crusaders (3-3-4, 2-2-3 MVC) at Adelaide Street Field for the Redbird’s final regular season game on Wednesday, April 7.
With a win or tie in Wednesday’s matchup against the Crusaders, the Redbirds can secure a third-place finish in Missouri Valley Conference standings and guarantees them the opportunity to host the MVC Tournament quarterfinal match on Sunday, April 11. Redbird defender Michaela Kirschten expands on the focus and importance of Wednesday’s match.
“As a team, we’re just focusing on playing our game and our best soccer,” said Kirschten. “We care about the standings of course and would love to secure that MVC quarterfinal match at home but don’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves. If we focus on our team goals and accomplish our game plan, the rest will fall into place.”
Kirschten, who was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Week on March 30, explains the honor to receive her first league award.
“It was such an honor to be named the Defensive Player of the Week,” said Kirschten. “With that being said, our defensive success this year has been a total team effort and I’m really proud of how far we’ve come and where we’re at currently.”
Currently, the Redbirds are riding a two-game winning streak heading into Wednesday’s game. In both of their previous shutouts, the Redbirds outshot their opponents by a combined 34 to 20 with 14 of those shots being on goal. Kirschten details on what the backline for the Redbirds are focusing on to shut down Valparaiso and where their defense ranks in the MVC.
“It’s hard to compare our defense to other teams in the Valley but I think we’re definitely near the top,” said Kirschten. “There’s always areas to improve on but our teamwork and willingness to learn have been great this season and I’m feeling confident that we still haven’t peaked yet as a team. As a backline we’re just focused on containing Valpo’s offense and doing the little things right to get the result we want tomorrow.”
The Redbirds will also be recognizing redshirt senior Abby Basler as part of their pregame activities for Senior Night.The St. Louis, Missouri native has turned in an incredible career at ISU as she has tallied 18 goals and 16 assists during her tenure and ranks top-10 in several categories like goals, assists, and points in the ISU record book. Kickoff between the Redbirds and the Crusaders is set for 3:30 pm with attendance limited to player passes only and not open to the general public.