Women’s Soccer tough at home in young season

The Colby Women’s Soccer team will look to return to their winning ways in the 2014 season. Last year, the Mules held opponents to one goal or less in nine of their fifteen games, and having returned much of their defense, the Mules will be a formidable defensive force. “With new blood in the coaching staff from Mark Serjenian and Kelsey Russell, along with veteran coach [Jennifer] Holsten…the team has many opportunities to learn from a vast board of knowledge,” noted co-captain Maddie Tight ’15. Experience on the field and on the sideline will be key for Colby as they seek to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 season and return to their winning ways.

The Mules opened their 2014 season against one of the perennial powerhouses of the New England Small College Athletic Association (NESCAC), Williams College. The Ephs outshot Colby 26-6, however, Mules goalkeeper and co-captain  Emily Brook ’15 stood fast and made 12 saves, holding Williams to just two goals. Williams started their season off with a bang, catching the Mules on their heels, striking early on in the first half. Williams used the first goal’s momentum to continue to pummel the Colby defense, but the experienced back line was able to hold the Ephs scoreless for the rest of the half.  Coming out of the break, the Mules were eager to equalize; however on a counter attack, the Ephs scored an insurance goal, putting the game out of reach for the Mules.

In their home opener and first game against Thomas College since 1995, the Mules rolled over the Terriers, winning 6-0. Colby had a slew of players score their first ever collegiate goals in the match. Opening up the scoring early, Colby struck just two minutes into the game and did not allow Thomas to get settled on defense, pounding in two more goals before the half.

The Mules similarly dominated the second half, notching an additional three goals to run away with the game. Colby had goals from Laura Arnold ’18, Lauren McCarthy ’16, Georgia Lubrano ’17, Cami Notaro ’15 and Aliza Van Leesten ’17 (two goals). All but Notaro were putting in their first ever collegiate goals.

In their NESCAC home opener the Mules played host to Tufts University. The Mules were unable to compose themselves at the first whistle and conceded an early goal again. The Jumbos were able to add an additional goal in the second half after sloppy defensive play from the Mules. Tufts entered the game having yet to concede a goal all season. However the Colby attack stepped up and was able to pressure the Tufts defenders enough to cause a mistake resulting in an own goal.  The Mules dropped the contest 3-1 and moved to 1-2 overall as Tufts moved to 3-0 overall.

In a non-confernce matchup against rival University of New England (UNE) the Mules fell in a hard fought game 3-2. The game was very back and forth with neither team being able to hold on to a definitive lead. UNE struck first at the end of the first half to pull ahead 1-0. But just ten minutes later, the Mules equalized on a goal from Tight. The teams traded another pair of goals later on in the second half. UNE, however, was able to net the tiebreaker and eventual winning goal late in the second frame scoring with less than ten minutes remaining. The game was only the second time the Mules fell to UNE. The Nor’esasters remained undefeated on the year and cost the Mules a desperately needed non-conference victory.

The Mules then played host to Trinity College as they were looking to net their first NESCAC victory. The goalkeepers led both teams, as neither side was able to score, leading to a 0-0 tie.  Colby had dominant play from the back from Brook who made nine saves. Brook recorded her 15th career shutout.

The Mules moved to 1-3-1 overall and 0-2-1 in the NESCAC. The team has high expectations for the year. “I would say overall we are really excited for the upcoming season. While our record doesn’t exactly show it, we have had a lot of close games with really good teams and I think we are only going to improve as the season continues” remarked Tight. Next week they look to bounce back against Middlebury and University of Maine at Farmington.