Yeowomen Notch Back-to-Back Victories
Numerous injuries have not stopped the women’s soccer team from having success. After an 8–0 victory over Defiance College last Sunday, the Yeowomen are currently 3–2 overall. And having outscored its opponents 18–9, the team is optimistic despite less-than-ideal circumstances.
“We are injured from head to toe,” said first-year Katie Lucey, a goalkeeper who is currently dealing with a concussion.
But the Yeowomen, propelled by a combination of young talent and veteran leadership, are still optimistic about their chances to improve on last year’s 2–4–2 conference record. They ended last season in sixth place, on the periphery of the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament.
“We haven’t played with our full starting lineup this season,” said sophomore goalkeeper Emma Gordon. “That being said, we can definitely do better than we did last year.”
The team’s plethora of young talent features five first-years receiving significant playing time. Sammy Clanton has started every game on defense. On the offensive end, midfielder Jackie Brant has already racked up three goals and an assist and Cat Bent netted her first goal against Defiance. Izzy Rosenstein has rocketed four shots and played over 130 minutes in three matches. And pre-concussion, Lucey was vying for time in goal.
In addition to the rookies, all of the team’s all-conference performers from last season — junior forward Gwennie Gardiner, sophomores midfielder Maddi Kimball and goalkeeper Jordyn Morris — have returned for another season. In the team’s last match, over half of the starting lineup were non-seniors.
Despite racking up several wins already, the Yeowomen still have some weak spots. With youth comes inconsistency, and this team is no exception to that.
“[We] have been playing well against good teams, but struggle to keep the intensity against lesser opponents,” Gordon said. “If we focus on keeping up the intensity, especially defensively and in terms of goals, we will do well.”
The team is not entirely reliant on youth for success. Almost all of the seniors have received significant playing time this season, and they act as role models and positive influences for the first-years.
Bent praised “the support system of the team,” while Lucey noted that the seniors helped lead the way into “a higher level” of soccer from high school.
“We definitely have the best senior leadership I’ve seen in my time here,” Gardiner said. “It’s been great seeing what the addition of a few key freshman has done.”
Youth. Talent. Chemistry. Positivity. The pieces are there. The Yeowomen have improved dramatically over the past few years and are ready to make an impact in the 2016 postseason.