August 30, 2010

Women’s Soccer Must Rely on Young Squad in 2010

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Looking to rebound from a lackluster offensive season, the women’s soccer team hopes its new recruiting class can inject some creativity and life into its attack.

Last year, the Red tallied only eight goals in 15 games for a measly average of 0.53 goals per game, while opponents netted 26 total goals. The result of the offensive power outage was a 1-13-1 record, the worst performance to date under fourth year head coach Danielle LaRoche.

However, the team remains optimistic this year, as the new recruiting class promises to bring a plethora of speed and playmaking talent to the offense.

“The majority of the freshmen we have coming in are attacking players,” said junior midfielder Abigail Apistolas. “We have a good base of defenders and midfielders so I think they’re going to add to our depth attacking wise.”

Both Apistolas and sophomore defender Katie Cummiskey singled out freshman midfielder Rachel Nichols as a player to watch this upcoming season. Her quickness and knack of getting up the field in transition should go a long way in making the Red offense more competitive.

“She does a really good job getting up and supporting the forwards and that will go a long way in supporting our offense,” Cummiskey said.

Nichols hails from Fairfax, Va. and was a five-time member of the Olympic Development Program state team. She was twice selected to the ODP Region I pool. Nichols also earned a spot at the U-14 U.S. Women’s National Team Identification Camp in 2006 and was selected to the Super Y ODP National camp.

While Nichols will provide some much needed support in the midfield, freshman forwards Rachel Scholobohm and Caedran Harvey will provide the Red with some much needed speed and finishing ability up top. While the Red had plenty of chances to score last season, finishing was always a problem. Opponents landed 46.2 percent of their shots on goal. In contrast, the Red could only manage 38.7 percent. Despite managing over 10 shots per game, the Red averaged less than a goal per contest.

“We really need to finish the chances we are given,” Cummiskey said. “We definitely got chances to score but we just had a hard time finishing them … Scholobohm and Harvey are both fast forwards that can help us in that area.”

With newly infused talent, there is plenty of reason for the Red to be optimistic. The fresh recruiting class should provide the Red with some much needed speed and creativity on offense. With a strong defense that allowed only 1.73 goals per contest, a potent attack will go a long way to help the Red win some more matches this year.

“We have a lot of potential this year,” Cummiskey said. “Everyone is fired up and everyone is very competitive, which is good for our team. Everyone is good and everyone is fighting for playing time, which will definitely help us prepare for the upcoming season.”

Original Author: Jimmy Xi