The members of the women’s soccer team don’t let their unimpressive 3-5 record worry them. They understand that growth is their first priority.
Coach David Jones is realistic about his team’s five losses, and he said the Owls are getting better by the day.
“I can live with it,” said Jones of his team’s record, “I look more at our last two games. In some of our earlier games, we scored one goal and then we quit. A loss like that doesn’t bother us as much as how we lost. It’s so frustrating”
Jones was referring to the Sept. 15 loss to Rider. The Owls scored first, but ended up losing 5-1.
The Owls looked to start their Atlantic Ten schedule with a win on Friday, but fell to Saint Joseph’s 1-0.
Despite the loss, Jones was encouraged by the strong defensive effort.
“I thought we shut them down, but we got that unlucky goal scored against us that we thought was offside,” Jones said.
He added, “I really think we have most of our defensive problems solved.”
If Jones sees the same consistent defensive play from his team, he said the Owls should be in every game with tougher teams like Dayton and Richmond.
“Defensively, Courtney Eaton and Jackie Mauro have been very solid for us,” Jones said. “If Jackie continues to make the saves that she has been making, we are going to be fine down the stretch.”
Instead of relying solely on defense, the Owls had an offensive explosion on Sunday against Delaware State (0-4). Christine McInaw, Kiana Johnson, and Elena Hekimian each had two goals. Debbie Painter and Nyki Stroman each had one a piece. The Owls won, 8-0.
Prior to the win, the Owls had dropped three straight in which they failed to find the back of the net. The win helped pad the team’s overall stats as five different players now have two goals each.
Goalkeepers Jackie Mauro, Elizabeth Tarasevich and Ashley Minchhoff combined for the shutout. Mauro played in the first half, while Tarasevich and Minchhoff split time in second half. In blowout wins or losses, Jones prefers to let Tarasevich get more playing time.
Sophomore midfielder Elena Hekimian realizes the Hornets don’t compare to the stronger teams in the A-10, but she said the lopsided win could help the team’s self esteem.
“Hopefully this game will provide the confidence we need to get things going for us,” Hekimian said.
Defense has been the strong point of this team, but the Owls need to continue to put points on the board.
Since the start of the season, they haven’t been a steady scoring threat. In their three wins, the Owls have scored 15 goals. In their five losses, they’ve managed to score only one. There hasn’t been any balance between the offense and defense.
“We need to start putting the ball in the net,” Stroman said. “Once we start doing that, I don’t see us stopping.”
McInaw thinks that the upcoming weekend trip to New England is going to be a test.
“This weekend is definitely going to be tough,” she said. “We are playing Rhode Island and UMass, two teams that are traditionally very good. If we come out with our heads in the game, I think we should do well.”
McInaw added, “Game after game, we are getting better. Right now, that is what’s important.”
Andrew Monaghan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.