By Dom Rapposelli
Business and Distribution Manager
Washington College women’s soccer returned for their Fall 2023 campaign which kicked off on Aug. 1 at home against Stevenson University.
After finishing 6-5-6 last season, the Shorewomen are projected to place eighth in Centennial Conference play out of 11 teams.
“Obviously, it’s a little disappointing to be ranked lower than we think we deserve. However, we can use that as motivation to go out and prove everyone wrong,” sophomore Dahlia Kuzemka said.
Confidence, however, echoes throughout the team. “I believe if we play the way we are capable of, to the best of our ability, there’s not a game in our schedule this year that we should lose,” sophomore Maddy Gaydon said.
In the season opener, the Shorewomen scored the tying goal in the second half to end the game in a draw. Junior Reagan Longridge contributed the equalizing goal for WC in the sixty-sixth minute. As per National Collegiate Athletics Association rules, the game ended in a tie due to no longer playing regular season overtime periods.
While not a loss, there are still elements from the game that the team can build on. According to senior captain Amity Harrington, “This was our first real challenge as a team… now we know exactly what we need to work on before conference games start.
For the third straight season, the Stevenson Mustangs faced Washington College in the first game; WC had won the previous two.
Conference play begins on Sept. 18 for WC. Between now and then, there are several tough non-conference opponents for the team to face. “The most important thing to do now is focus on the next game,” said Gaydon.
The next game is Sept. 9 where WC will welcome Hood College to the Kibler Field. The Shorewomen look to improve their home record from last year, which was 4-3-3.
In order to stay the course, Kuzemka believes the team must lean on each other to make it through the season.
“I think the best thing that we can do as a team is really support one another…The energy on the field comes from the sidelines and the positive encouragement,” she said.
Harrington adds that an important individual for the success of this team is sixth-year head coach Tom Reilly. “Slowly but surely, with his leadership this team has become more focused in all categories, including both mental and physical battles, and I can’t wait to see what this season has in store,” Harrington said.
With a long season ahead, the team has much to look forward to due to their second home game of the season against Hood College.
Photo Caption: Two of the Shorewomen’s captains pursue a Stevenson University forward.
Photo courtesy of WC Athletics