Although they started their season slowly, winning only one of their initial four matches, the women’s soccer team has achieved some impressive goooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllls in recent weeks.
For one, the Maroons, now 7–3–1, have won six of their last seven games, and since two of those were UAA games, the team is now first in its conference. This string of success has brought the Maroons back onto the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s weekly list of the top 25 teams in the division, their first appearance on the rankings since the preseason.
In other good news, third-year goalkeeper Emma Gormley was honored with the UAA’s Athlete of the Week Award on Monday. She received the award for being the league’s top defensive player after she made eight saves in the Maroons’ most recent game, against Emory.
Speaking of her achievement, Gormley said, “I’m definitely excited about winning the Athlete of the Week award, but I don’t think it’s something you can aim for or ever expect to win. I go out every game and try to play my best, and in the Emory game I happened to be given several opportunities to make big plays to help our team win.”
It is comforting to know that this wave of success is at their back as the Maroons head into the most important part of their season. Of its remaining seven matches, five are UAA games, meaning the team’s chances for nationals depend on performance in the coming weeks.
Although the Maroons have a nice head start on their UAA games, according to Gormley, “There are still a lot of really good teams left to play.”
One of those teams is Rochester, who the Maroons will play in their next game.
Gormley said, “I’m expecting Rochester to be a tough team. They came out on top in our meeting last year, and I think that memory is still fresh in the minds of the returners on our team.”
She continued, “They have some really good forwards that I think are going to make the back line’s job difficult, but I know we are up to the task.”
The optimism in her remarks is tempered by a keen awareness of the team’s shortcomings and a need for improvement in certain areas.
Again, Gormley explains, “ I think we could do better at making quicker transitions both offensively and defensively. Also, we need to continue to work on playing quick, simple passes to maintain possession.”
Ultimately, she concluded, “If we can get better at those two things I think we have a really good chance of doing well in the rest of our UAA games.”
Follow the Maroons this Friday and Sunday when they go on the road to face Rochester and Case, the beginning of the end of regular season play.