Written By: Devin Garner
As the fall season was postponed due to COVID-19, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) women’s soccer team has had to find a way to continue to work for seasons to come. Led by head coach Peter Krech (‘09) the team has continued to stay connected as a team and have kept their eye on a potential season.
Two players who have been key leaders for the team both on and off the field are Madison Webb (‘21) and Lauren Baker (‘22). Both Webb and Baker have continued to push their team to the next level. When asking Baker how she has served as a mentor to her younger teammates, she said, “I have been trying to mentor younger players by building good relationships with them so they have someone to look up to. I have been working my hardest on and off the field so that [the younger players] have an example to look up to. I am also always available for questions.” Baker has truly been a stabilizing influence for the team throughout these treacherous times and has helped to keep the team together through virtual team meetings, workouts, movie nights and trivia.
Madison Webb has also been an important player for the program in her time at SMCM. As a senior at the college, she has placed her focus on mentoring beyond athletics. She states, “my main focus for my younger teammates is to make sure that they are enjoying their experiences at St. Mary’s.” She continues by saying, “Yes, winning games is important, but you are more likely to remember the good times that were had and how you felt playing with teammates, rather than the final score of every game played.” When asking head coach Krech on the impact of Webb in her time at SMCM, he had glowing remarks as she started off as a walk-on to the team and not an official recruit. He states, “She has had to deal with a lot of adversity over the years and is currently dealing with a bit of an injury, but she has persevered and been a great captain over the last two years.” In continuing to remark on the impact of Webb he remarks: “She is someone that will check on and drop what she is doing to help someone else if needed. I am very proud of her development as a leader and that is probably the biggest area we will lose from her when she graduates.”
Though the players are not playing in real games, they have still found ways to get better. The team began training together on Sept. 24 and are practicing three to four days together for the remainder of the fall semester. While they are practicing as a team, Krech acknowledged that many of the athletes are also working on their own to stay prepared. When asking Webb on how her team is making up for not playing this fall, she argues: “While we are not allowed to play any form of contact soccer yet, it is great to be out on the field with all of the girls. Since I will not be getting a ‘true’ senior season, it is nice to still have practice with everyone.”
As the team continues to work throughout the fall semester, they acknowledge that the future of the team is promising. Baker remarks: “We have a really good outlook for our team in the upcoming years. We have a lot of younger players that will be able to continue to build our program.” Krech adds his remarks by saying, “While it is too early to judge exactly where we are at from a soccer specific level, the outlook is positive for sure… The hope is that we can set the necessary foundation related to our team culture, core values, expectations to hit the ground running in the North Eastern Athletic Conference next Fall.”
The team has put in the work to be successful for seasons to come. Be sure to go out and support the SMCM women’s soccer team when they play again as they will be a force to be reckoned with.