By John Niswander
Elm Staff Writer
Washington College women’s soccer had a 2-0 shutout victory over host Delaware Valley University last week. With the win, the Shorewomen finished the non-conference portion of the schedule this season with a 5-1-1 record. This marked the best non-conference record ever in the history of the 19 seasons of varsity women’s soccer at WC.
WC jumped on Delaware Valley early when junior Steph Scott converted a penalty kick roughly 20 minutes into the game to put WC ahead for good. Through the first half of play, WC was outshooting their opponent 10-3 and carried the one goal lead into the half.
The constant pressure was relentless after the two teams resumed for the second half of play. The Shorewomen were able to net another goal after senior Paige Cahoon sent a ball to junior Maribeth Harrington who fed sophomore Arianna Sabatino for a breakaway goal just under 10 minutes into the second half of play. Sabatino credits her teammates for putting her in good scoring positions.
“Most of my goals were the result of the hard work of the rest of the team,” she said.
WC finished the game outshooting their opponent 23-5, and never felt threatened as they controlled the majority of possession.
“In today’s game I think we came into it differently than we have any other away game,” sophomore Lauren Neary said. “We were extremely positive and clicked as a team today. We moved the ball really well up top and we’re able to read each other and the runs the other players were making.”
Coach Kerry Smith has been pleased with the returners, and how the culture is shifting in a positive direction as her team has already surpassed their win total from a season ago.
“The progress we made with the returners in the spring is having a huge impact for us and we saw a big shift with the team’s culture. We are much stronger, fitter, grittier, and technically more sound. The time and energy that Jonnie Jenkins and his staff have put into our program is really showing in so many ways. Overall as a group, the positive attitudes and the high energy levels have been big difference-makers when we’ve played well. As a team, the focus has been playing for each other and doing the best in that moment to help the team. The leadership we have in the program is fantastic. The captains are doing a great job in guiding the team’s culture and there are others who are also stepping up at key moments and driving the team forward.”
Harrington, a junior who recorded an assist last game, credits the changing culture and positive attitudes on the team to be key reasons for the early successes.
“The key to winning these games is the new and improved culture of our team. There is so much positivity and support from every member and it’s a great environment to be a part of. I can honestly say the success stems straight from the positivity of each and every one of the members of our team.”
With Sabatino’s seventh goal of the season, she became the sixth player in team history to score seven or more goals in a season. She maintains that team success come first.
“It’s cool to know stuff like that but I definitely focus on the team’s success. It doesn’t matter who scores because it’s a team effort in the end. I try and focus on how the team can get results and keeping improving our performance level,” she said.
All of the women are confident heading into next week’s game.
“We are on the edge of becoming a dynamic team in this conference. We are all so motivated and excited for the games to come,” Harrington said.