Section: Soccer

Ladies soccer impresses in opener

Ladies soccer impresses in opener

Maggie Smith ‘17 scored the team’s only goal on Saturday.

 

Alex Pijanowski

Sports Editor

Taking full advantage of a home doubleheader to open their season, Kenyon women’s soccer won one game against Manchester University, of North Manchester, Ind., and tied the other against Adrian College, of Adrian, Mich., this past weekend.

The team’s reigning top scorer, Co-Captain Becca Romaine ’15, expressed positive feelings about both results, including the tie. “[With a tie], you don’t get that loss, but then you realize what you have to work with,” she said. “You get the learning experience from a loss without actually having the loss.”

Kenyon’s offense was bold, making 19 shots on goal.

“We want to attack as a team,” Head Coach Kelly Bryan said. “We want to have some diversity in the way that we’re attacking, and not have things be predictable. We’ve got more than just one or two people that are capable of getting into the attack, and that’s something we haven’t had in the past.”

Kenyon sports fans should expect a very competitive season because last season’s top two scorers — Romaine and Co-Captain Maggie Smith ’17 — are both returning and in top form. Additionally, Co-Captain Marie Laube ’16 will anchor the defense.

Romaine scored twice against Manchester, which pulled her within a goal of Kenyon’s all-time fourth-place goalscorer Shannon Maroney ’00. Entering this season, Romaine’s points-per-game average is 1.42, which makes her the fourth-most-efficient scorer in the team’s history.

Despite this proximity to Kenyon greats, Romaine does not generally give much thought to statistical glory.

“I’m a forward, so that’s kind of my job — to try to score, or create scoring opportunities,” she said. “I base a lot of my personal success off of that, only because that’s what I should be doing. … But, I try not to think about it — I think it’s kind of silly to get caught up in those kinds of things, because it is a team sport.”

First-year forward/midfielder Emma Klug ’18 is one new player to keep an eye on. Through two games, Klug has made three shots on goal. Though it will be difficult for anyone else to score often on a team with two forwards as dominant as Romaine and Smith, Klug shows great promise, and the experience she gains this year should prepare her for a feature role soon.

On the defensive side, rookie players Heather Pacheco ’18 and Campbell Fee ’18 have stepped into important defensive roles.

The Ladies also have two excellent goalkeepers, Alissa Poolpol ‘16 and Anna Schueler ’17. Over the weekend, the pair stopped nearly every shot that came their way, combining for 16 saves out of 33 shots faced. Only two of those shots entered the net.

Bryan expects a lot from this talented team, which showcases a good mix of young and experienced players. Many first years have taken advantage of openings left by last year’s departing seniors.

“They’re doing it with the leadership and guidance of our returning players,” Bryan said. “It’s been a really nice mesh so far, and now we need to keep getting our younger players ready.”

Smith, one of those returners, said her responsibilities have increased. “I need to step up my leadership this year,” she said. “We have nine [first years], so we have a lot of them, and all of us — as upperclassmen, as returning players — need to step up and help guide them.”

Smith said that although the team struggled with injuries last year, she expects a promising season this fall.

 “I think, all in all, this is going to be a very strong season for [the team],” she said. “We are all very motivated, we want this, we all want to get into the [conference] tournament.”

 

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