After a four-game losing streak, the St. Mary’s women’s soccer team kicks back into the game with two home wins that promise an interesting remainder of the season for the Seahawks.
This year’s team, with the addition of 12 freshman athletes, began the season with a disadvantage against its other CAC conference opponents that it had not faced in a number of seasons. “We’ve only lost a few players in my first three years,” said Sophia Esparza, captain and senior midfielder on the team. “With so many new players, this is a completely different team.”
Despite the need to rebuild its field strategy, the players began the season with a strong 3-0 shutout against McDaniel College on September 1st and, following a shutout defeat against Frostburg on September 5th, defeated Hood College 4-0 in a powerful conference game on the home field.
However, following a 4-0 loss against Messiah College the following week, the team began a losing streak that lasted the next three games against opponents Stevenson, Farmingdale, and Johns Hopkins. The team still needed to improve its communication on the field. “The team is getting along well chemistry-wise,” said Brianne Weaver, head coach of the soccer Seahawks since 2006. “But in a soccer sense, and how well we understand each other, we need to improve our communication and solidify our defense.”
The season began to look up on Saturday when athletes Tori Eskay, Erika Kenny, and Sophia Esparza each found the net in a 3-1 attack against Wesley College, ending the losing streak with a conference victory. “We hit a rough patch, but we’re coming back,” commented Louise Marchica, freshman defender on the team. “Don’t count us out yet because of our losses.”
The team continued its newly-established winning streak with another conference win on Tuesday, as the athletes dominated the undefeated Catholic College 4-2 in a home game that left the visiting team with more goals scored against it than the combined total of its previous nine games.
Despite its two-streak victory, the team still has ideas for improving its game for the upcoming Capital Athletic Conference games. “We really need to try to get the goals early,” Esparza said, regarding the soccer team’s newly-offensive strategy. “We need to keep more consistent in our level of play, and make our opponent play a game of catch-up in the end.”
The Seahawks’ next game is on Friday at 6pm against Christopher Newport College, and the players are ready to take on the next challenge of the season. “I’m really proud of the group,” said Weaver, commenting on the team. “It would have been easy to throw in the towel, but they’ve worked hard, and I’m proud of their efforts.”