Young Saint Mary’s soccer team gains experience during rebuilding year
Martha Zaytoun | Friday, May 17, 2019
With no seniors leading the team this season, Saint Mary’s completed a rebuilding year this past October. Each game the Belles (6-12, 1-7 MIAA) started seven or eight freshman players, allowing them to gain valuable experience for seasons to come. Head coach Jesse Urquhart explained how the youth of the team bodes well for coming seasons.
“This season was a step in the right direction,“ Urquhart said. ”We brought in a large class of freshman who played significant minutes this past season. … It certainly gave the coaching staff a good look at who is ready for a larger role next season.”
Rather than allow the lack of senior leadership to hamper the unity and strength of the team, countless players stepped up to fill those voids. In fact, it provided the perfect opportunity for captains Kellen Hinchey and Megan Saunders to step up to the plate. Similarly, Thallia Robles, a junior, and Kelsey Matyi, a sophomore, took on greater leadership roles.
“They have the most experience of anyone on the team and understand what my expectations are for the team. I will continue to empower and challenge them as they continue to grow and develop their leadership skills,” Urquhart said of these athlete’s leadership. “Our returning players, along with our incoming Class of 2019, will be challenged as we develop them into the best version of themselves.”
He will likely look to these players in the coming seasons for support as he trains new crops of incoming freshman.
The Belles experienced significant growth this past season and hope to carry their strengths onto the pitch next season.
“We are certainly developing a new culture and attitude but we still have a long way to go,” Urquhart said of the season. “We improved our record, scored more goals, cut down on our goals against, and we’ve developed our style of play.”
He has appropriately high expectations of his players on and off the pitch. The Belles await the coming season with high hopes, anticipating a level of competition the team has never experienced.
“It will be the most intense and competitive preseason to date thanks to the quality of players the staff has recruited and the quality players we return from last season,” Urquhart said.