Women kick-off season

Matthew Lefebvre

Soccer has turned into a world wide craze. Countries all over the world pride themselves in having good soccer programs and being represented in the World Cup. In the United States, soccer hasn’t grown to be as large as in other parts of the world. We still are in love with baseball, football, and basketball. It seems as though soccer will never become part of the mainstream in this country, but don’t tell that to Quinnipiac’s women’s soccer team. They play with as much passion as any other soccer team; anywhere.

Although the team finished 3-12-1, it wasn’t for lack of effort. This was a team that battled through injuries to key contributors to still play its opponents tough. Despite the numerous injuries to the team, the Bobcats were in the hunt for a playoff spot until the final week of the season. A never say die attitude is what helped the lady Bobcats get through the season and give them hope for the 2003 season.

The team headed by fifth year coach Dave Clarke, returns 20 players from last season, and adds four new freshmen. Despite all the injuries last season, Coach Clarke used the open positions to his advantage. By playing his freshmen last year, they are now experienced sophomores who will be ready to play and able to compete against the league rivals.

Despite the team’s record last year, Coach Clarke led the Bobcats to a 3-4-1 in NEC play, and is 44-30-2 over his four seasons showing that the team’s performance last year was nothing more than a one year hiatus from the top of the league.

Just two years ago, the team won the NEC tournament and earned a berth into the NCAA tournament. There is no doubt that the team can repeat that performance and advance deep into the NCAA tournament. After double sessions of practice, the team feels it is ready to make its move back to where it belongs, on top of the NEC.

The lady Bobcats opened their season against the University of Massachusetts Minutemen. Quinnipiac got the scoring going with a goal from Claudia Castaneda in the 16th minute assisted by Ashley Lockwood. The Bobcats were able to hold off the Minutemen for the rest of the half and went in with the lead 1-0.

The second half was a different story though. The Minutemen scored the tying goal in the 64th minute and went ahead with the eventual game winner in the 87th minute. Heather Zaccone, a freshman goal keeper, made 3 saves on 5 shots.

Keeping games close is key to a team’s psychology. As long as a team is close they can win and this team won’t be far out of many games. Look for big things from the women’s soccer team this season.