By Derek Stiles
Often times, team’s ambitions begin to diminish when they have long stretches of unfavorable results. Questions start to arise about what’s gone wrong and blame begins to spread in the air in the locker room. Head Coach Kerry Smith and the Shorewomen refuse to let that happen.
Persistence is key for Washington College women’s soccer who is still searching for their first conference win of the season after dropping a 0-4 result to the Dickinson Red Devils despite a career high 15 saves by sophomore goalkeeper Melissa Barry. The Shorewomen stood their ground for the opening quarter of an hour until the deadlock was broken in the 26th minute off of a Dickinson corner kick. The Red Devils tallied two more goals in the next eight minutes to put the game beyond reach for the Shorewomen, who would let up a penalty kick midway through the second half.
With all of their games against the top tier of the Centennial Conference out of the way the Shorewomen hope to capitalize on the weaker second-half of their conference schedule. Their matchup on Saturday against the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats (0-7) will pit two teams who are both looking for their first conference victory against each other.
“As the season progresses, we need to work on our consistency because when we play our best we dominate,” sophomore midfielder Kelsey McCurdy said.
A match against the Haverford Fords will follow on Oct. 29, who sit one spot above the Shorewomen in the conference and have a single win in their six conference games. At a rate of .5 goals per game, WC will use the week to work on a more potent offense as they’re still looking for their first conference goal as well. Freshman Emani Silva hopes to be the solution to that as she looks to add to her team-leading tally of three goals on the season.
“Leading the team in goals as a freshman definitely gives me confidence as a player, but I couldn’t have done it without the help of my teammates,” Silva said. “They are always pushing me to be better and strive for perfection and this accomplishment couldn’t have been possible without them.”
A bright spot for the Shorewomen has been Barry, who’s proven to be a dominant force in front of the net. Despite the team’s recent struggles, Barry has tallied 108 saves on the season along with five shutouts, which includes the record-breaking one that made history earlier in the season.
“We definitely have to work on controlling the momentum from the start of the game,” Silva said. “When we control the momentum its like the game is always in our favor. We have all the talent, drive, and connections but we just have to execute it.”
The Shorewomen’s next game will take place against the Diplomats this Saturday at 1 p.m. on the Bermuda grass as they look to snag their first conference victory against a team they lost to last season 0-1 in extra time.
“As she (Kerry Smith) always says, ‘If you want different results, you need to make changes and that’s what she’s been doing,” McCurdy said.