By Andrew Chirico
Elm Staff Writer
Now in her second season in command, Washington College women’s soccer Head Coach Kerry Smith seeks to make her mark on the program. The Shorewomen had a defensively record low goals allowed, allowing just 28 goals in their 17 previous matches.
While the defense is dominant, the offense has had a tough time putting the ball in net, scoring just eight goals last season. The unsuccessful offense led to WC finishing 2014 their season with a 3-11-3 record.
Despite not making the Centennial Conference Tournament, WC has high hopes for this upcoming season as they return with 11 players who played in at least 10 games last season. Along with the experienced 11 come six incoming freshman and one transfer.
The offense returns its leading weapon in Emani Silva who returns for her sophomore season after a very admirable first season. Silva led the team with three goals, two assists, and eight points. Following Silva is sophomore back Hayley Hartman, who totaled three points in her freshman season.
The dominant defense returns junior goalie Melissa Barry, who holds the program’s record in shutouts with 10. Surrounding Barry on the defense are a handful of upperclassmen including junior back Paige Cahoon, sophomore transfer Steph Scott, and sophomore back Lexi Young. Newcomers on the defense include freshman Arianna Sabatino, and her sister Olivia Sabatino.
Preseason has given the squad a unique connection through their time spent together.
“The team has come together so easily this preseason because we all have common goals for this season and are all working hard to reach those. We set these goals in place after last season and coach kept them in mind while recruiting so all of the new members of the team are as dedicated and well equipped to reaching those goals as the returners are.” said senior captain Bailey Howard.
“This group has come together very quickly,” said Smith, “becoming really close. They are developing a strong team chemistry, and it’s been fun to see them challenge each other on and off the field.”
The Shorewomen’s preseason development was put to the test as they seized their season opener, a 1-0 victory against host Rosemont. The game went into overtime, but it only took sophomore defender Lexi Young seven minutes into extra play to end the game. Young scored off an assist from Barry. The WC defense held Rosemont to only eight toal shots in the winning effort
Oddly, Barry wasn’t defending the back of net which she did so successfully last season. Instead, freshman goalie Courtney Colbert earned the start and took full advantage of the opportunity. Barry made use of her time out in her field with her game winning assist.
WC’s home-opener also went into overtime but produced a different result. A scoreless tie occurred versus visiting Wiedner as the offense only got off two shots the entire matchup. A clear standout after two games has been Colbert as she held both Rosemont and Widener scoreless. Colbert made two saves against Rosemont and an impressive eight against Widener.
WC takes their out-of-conference road campaign over to Penn St.-Harrisburg on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. and then to Gwynedd Mercy that following Tuesday, Sept. 15.
*All game statistics courtesy of washingtoncollegesports.com box score reports.*