Women’s Soccer Poised for a Championship Season
Issue   |   Thu, 09/01/2016 - 16:45
Sophomore forward Maeve McNamara contributed three goals and five assists to the purple and white offensive effort during their 2015 season.

It was tied 1-1 when double overtime ended, and while regular season games can end in a tie, this one could not. It was the second round of NCAA’s, and there had to be a winner. The game would be decided by penalty kicks, one of the tensest situations in soccer. And in the painfully close shoot-out, the Amherst women’s soccer team lost, ending their 2015 season.
“I think we didn’t reach our full potential,” 2016 co-captain Emily Hester ’17 said. “Unfortunately we suffered a heartbreaking loss in NCAA’s that didn’t reflect just how good we were last year. I can’t wait for us to start our season and to show the rest of the NESCAC how much talent we have across the board.”

In fact, the team’s 2016 campaign will be shaped around what they learned from last season’s disappointing end. “Sometimes in the heat of competition, we can lose sight of the fact that soccer is a choice, and we make the choice because we love the game and we love to play together,” co-captain Sarah Frohman ’17 said. “If we can focus on maintaining intensity, charge forward with a team mentality, and cherish how lucky we are that we get to have fun every single day, then the results will follow without us even realizing.”

Eight new first year players hope to supplement this team effort. The purple and white are excited to welcome Erin McClave (N.Y.), Hayley Roy (Va.), Laura Greer (Colo.) and Madison Kahn (N.J.) to the offensive unit. Bella Palma (Mass.), Sasha Savitsky (Calif.) and Sloan Askins (Calif.) will join the defensive group while goalie Erica Sanders (Md.) rounds out the class of 2020.

The team also welcomes Jeannette Boudway to the coaching staff. After graduating from DePaul in 2001, Boudway earned a master’s degree in Sports Management and Business Administration from Barry University. Since then, she has worked with soccer programs at several different universities, including the University of Alabama. Most recently, Boudway served as an assistant coach for the Notre Dame women’s team and helped them to two Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 2010.

Boudway reported that both head coach Jen Hughes and the high quality of athletes that Amherst attracts were both big influences. “I feel so very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Jen and immediately felt comfortable and compelled to work with her. She is a driven coach who wants to do everything she can to help the student-athletes have a wonderful soccer experience and win at Amherst,” Boudway said.

Though Amherst has many new faces joining the 2016 campaign, they have also lost a few significant players, giving younger athletes the chance to step up this year. With the graduation of standout Holly Burwick ’16, the goalkeeper position has opened up. Chelsea Cutler ’19 and newcomer Askins will compete to fill her shoes.

“The biggest thing I want to bring is just a sense of consistency in the back line in terms of communication,” Cutler said. “Our defensive line is incredibly solid and we generally shift together really well with the ball, so basically I just want to maintain communication while bringing an even more concrete sense of composure to our play.”

Communication and cohesion will certainly be important for the team this season. “This year, more than in the past, we hope to take every practice and game day by day and cherish the opportunity we all have to do what we love together,” Hester said.
“This season, we really want every practice, game, team meal, activity, etc. to serve as a reminder of why we love soccer so much,” Frohman added. “We want everyone to focus on taking the season practice by practice and game by game so that we can appreciate every time we are together.”

Don’t miss the purple and white’s home opener on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Gooding Field against Mount Holyoke College.