- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
SMCM women’s soccer team geared for title run
By JAMES A. McCRAY III
Last year, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Seahawks women’s soccer team won two of its last 10 regular season games and played to a tie in two of those games, but that did not stop the 2011 team from making a run through the Capital Athletic Conference tournament and eventually into the championship game.
Despite losing that championship game 1-0 to Salisbury, vital parts of that 2011 team return for the 2012 season under first-year head coach Richard Moller.
Last year’s leading Seahawks goal scorer Tori Eskay returns for her senior season and leads a group of five returning members from last year’s team who were named to the2011 All-CAC team.
Along with Eskay, Moller receives the services of senior midfielder Lisa Sitz, junior midfielder Yvonne Latour, goalkeeper Kelsey Wirtz and defender Caryn Thompson, all members of the all-conference team.
That has Moller excited about the 2012 season.
“We have a deep roster and that’s going to be very nice,” Moller said. “Our goal is to keep our legs fresh and really make sure everybody has an important role on the team. ... We’ll always have six to seven players that can really come in and not have the level of play drop. They will bring different attributes to the game, but the level of play shouldn’t drop.”
Already four nonconference games into the season its contest against Lebanon Valley (Pa.) Sept. 1 at the Gettysburg Cup in Gettysburg, Pa., was postponed midway through due to weather Moller and the Seahawks have played to a 2-1 record.
The Seahawks most recent win, a contest with Methodist University (N.C.) on Saturday, ended in dramatic fashion with senior forward Kim LaBarge scoring the game-winning goal in the extra period, 5-4.
That game-winning goal was the third of three LaBarge goals in the game, her first-career hat trick according to the Seahawks website.
LaBarge also leads the Seahawks in goals scored this season with three.
The Seahawks played at McDaniel College on Tuesday in a contest that finished too late for inclusion into this edition and the first game of the season was its only loss so far, a 4-1 defeat to Stevenson University.
“In the first game, emotions were running high and they were still adjusting to a different coaching style,” Moller said. “You can notice that and we kind of discussed some things we want to do better in the next games. … There is still that transition to the new style. It’s coming together slowly, but surely.”
Moller has admitted that despite it being his first season with the team, the sentiments around the team have been positive.
“It feels great,” Moller said. “The attitude is fantastic and the chemistry of the team has been fantastic and they are very coachable. They have taken some very [big] strides over a very short amount of time.”
Despite all that has happened during preseason with the coaching changes and through the early parts of the season, Moller admits that the goal will be to get back to the CAC championship game.
“We have to play a very aggressive style of soccer,” Moller said of how to get back. “You want to win the ball in the middle of the field so that the distance to the post and goal is shorter. If you allow the opposing team to get to your goal over and over, the distance to the post and goal is much greater and taxing on your body.”