The Moraine Valley Community College women’s soccer team had a less than stellar start, but they put everything together by the end of the season.

At the beginning, the Cyclones were excited by the number of players on the roster. However, some season-ending injuries and facing some of the toughest teams in the region changed possibilities. Near the end of the year, Assistant Coach Carter Olson took over as interim head coach while the team started to gain confidence and find their rhythm for three wins in the last six matches.

“College soccer is totally different from high school, so it was hard to get in the rhythm early on. It took some adjusting throughout the season, but it happened,” Olson explained.

Overall, the Cyclones went 3-9 for the season and 2-3 in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference. Of the 11 goals scored, freshman Dyani Calderon (Kennedy) netted six and became the main offensive push when a couple of teammates were injured. Some game strategy also changed on the field to get her in prime position to score. In the midfield, she added life into the game, Olson said.

The 2022 Moraine Valley Community College women’s soccer team.

The 2022 Moraine Valley Community College women’s soccer team.

The big strength of this crew came from the back line – sophomores Aoife Finn (Stagg), Sarah Hughes (Evergreen Park) and Emma Ahern (Bremen) and freshman Rylee Conway (Marist). The Cyclones also relied on Hughes’s speed in the back and pushed her up on the field every so often when needed. She scored a goal against Elgin Community College, her first of the season.

“They really held it down and kept plenty of games from being blowouts. They put their bodies on the line, and Emma got injured near the end of the season because of it,” Olson said. “We couldn’t have asked for a stronger back line.”

Among the most improved players was freshman Jada Cunningham (Stagg). She took what the coaches taught her and was able to make the runs and shot attempts she needed at the end. That growth was what Olson saw all season from his athletes.

“Seeing them become better players was meaningful. They learned and understood the game more. Their soccer knowledge grew,” Olson said. “To work with these athletes and help them make the step to adulthood was great. It was an honor to be head coach for the final half of the season.”

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For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or