Belles endure long rebuilding season
Charlie Ortega Guifarro | Friday, May 18, 2018
In the midst of a rebuild, Saint Mary’s adopted several top-down changes resulting in a new culture and a new style of play.
Belles head coach Jesse Urquhart, in his second season with the Belles (1-17, 0-16 MIAA), said they did not meet their goals this past season but, as with any rebuild, this is the start of a slow climb to success.
“We’re a program that is rebuilding,” he said. “We battled through some very difficult times knowing that the seasons to follow are going to be much better.”
A 4-1 win over Manchester two games into the season gave the Belles hope for the season to come, but unfortunately, they were unable to capitalize on that momentum to capture any more wins.
The Belles continue to hit the reset button on everything as Urquhart aims to bring the right players, not necessarily the best players to his team.
“Our efforts [to rebuild] start with our recruiting classes. To steal a line from Herb Brooks, we’re not looking for the best people, we’re looking for the right people,” he said. “We’re looking for the right people that fit our program, players that help improve our culture, and ultimately, players that are dedicated and passionate about being successful Division III student-athletes.”
In terms of the kind of culture that Urquhart wants, he said that he is looking for a team that is dedicated to improving, favoring a strong work ethic on and off the field.
“Our involvement is limited outside of our season. … We’ve got great leadership in place now. We’re looking to continue to build on that and bring in players who are dedicated to their teammates and the program,” Urquhart said. “We’re proud of our cumulative team GPA, [we’re looking for] players that are putting in the work in the offseason, players that hold themselves accountable to a higher standard, that’s the culture we’re looking to build.”
He added that the team is seeking to become a possession-oriented team with an emphasis on attacking, aiming to play at a faster pace. The upcoming recruiting class was aimed primarily at defenders, whereas the 2019 recruiting class seeks to obtain more attack-oriented players.
“[The fans] can expect a much more exciting performance on the field [next season] and also, [that we’ll] start winning more matches,” Urquhart said.