Women’s Soccer Returns to the Field With High Expectations
Issue   |   Thu, 08/28/2014 - 17:35

After three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, head coach Jen Hughes and the Lady Jeffs set out to continue their impressive form in 2014. Finishing the 2013 season with a 10-4-3 record, the Jeffs found their way to the NCAA tournament through an at-large bid after falling to Trinity in the quarterfinals of NESCACs. In a back-and-forth battle against Messiah in the second round, Amherst saw its season come to a close, as the team failed to convert on several scoring opportunities, losing 2-0.

“Even though it didn’t show up on the scoreboard the way we wanted it to, every single player walked off the field knowing we put everything into it,” said junior defender Megan Kim. “If we can hold on to that feeling of what it feels like to be playing with each other and enjoying the game, the results will come with it this season.”

Returning the entire starting defense, the Purple and White will rely on the consistently dominant performances of All-NESCAC second team duo, junior goalkeeper Holly Burwick and senior defender Maya Jackson-Gibson.

“We’re returning basically our entire defense, so that is going to be a strong point for us. We can use that as a base to build on,” said senior captain Meghan Mills.

“We have a very veteran team coming back this year, and we have lots of experience, so we have very high expectations coming into the season. We’re really excited to have the freshman class,” added senior captain Mel Stier.

Under the leadership of Mills, Stier and fellow senior captain Alex Hart, success is certainly in the cards for this season. Stier, perhaps one of the most versatile players for the Jeffs, started her career as a forward before Hughes converted her to a defender.

“The captains are great, and the senior class as a whole are really great leaders, which is something key that we really need this year and that will take us very far,” Burwick said.

Returning to action against Middlebury on Saturday, Sept. 7, the Jeffs hope to continue their tradition of success on the field.

“As a team, we want to come together to that potential to win everything,” Kim said.