The Beloit College women’s soccer team enters this 2015 season with an exciting new class of freshmen and a positive outlook moving forward. Coming off of a 4-13-1 season in 2014, third-year head coach Nick Chapman has recruited 12 new players, making his team one of the youngest in the conference.
“Being a young team has its advantages, we will be eager to win and willing to fight harder,” comments coach Chapman. The Buccaneers will also be bringing back an impressive group of returning players that will contribute greatly to the success of this young team. “The returners all come back with a significant amount of games and minutes worn into their boots. Even if they weren’t a starter, they gained plenty of minutes and experience last season.” Chapman notes about the leadership, “Allowing space for the team to trust each other and win together is key this season. The leadership from both Enid (Gongora) and Megan (McCabe) will be the foundation of this young squad”
Junior Emma Schroer returns this season as one of two goalkeepers on the team. Though she has battled injuries in the past, her skills as both a goalkeeper and a field player make her one of the most versatile players on the team. Says Chapman, “Emma has exhibited leadership qualities both on and off the field and we hope to see some brilliance from her in the net this season”.
Sophomore defender Kina McCombs comes off of an impressive first season with the Bucs in 2014. McCombs played in all 18 games, starting in 17 of them, and finished the season with an assist. “Kina plays strong, smart, and hard”, notes Chapman, adding “She will be looked at as a leader on the defensive end of the field as we look to tighten up in the back.”
Senior co-captain, Megan McCabe returns this year for her final season on the Beloit College women’s soccer team. McCabe is a two-sport athlete for the Buccaneers, playing both soccer and basketball in her time at Beloit. Chapman remarks, “Megan has been the saving grace in the back line for the past 3 years”, he adds, “We are looking to her experience and leadership to spur on a bit more of an attacking mentality this season.” McCabe has been a key player for the Bucs and her success as a defender earned her a spot on the 2012 All Midwest Conference team. Last season, McCabe started in all 18 games, scoring 3 goals with 1 assist playing center back. She finished the season with 7 points.
Senior forward Enid Gongora will be a key leader and an inspiration for the young team this season. Gongora lead the team in goals in the 2014 season, scoring 5 in total, 1 of them a game winner. She finished the season with a team high of 12 points. Gongora enters this season as a first-time captain. Her leadership skills on and off the field and commitment to the team have earned her the respect of her teammates and coaches. Chapman speak about Gongora, “Enid is a vocal leader the players gravitate towards. She will be key in keeping the intensity up and encouraging team focus throughout the season.”
Sophomore Rylie Partin scored 3 goals and had 2 assists for a total of 8 points in the 2014 season. Partin is known by her teammates for her agility and ball handling skills as well as her ability to see the field and make runs off the ball. “Rylie won’t say a word, but will simply smile as she flies by you,” laughs Chapman. He adds, “We are looking for a breakthrough from her and she will start lighting up the back of the net.” She was a key player in the 2014 season, starting in 14 of the 18 games and finishing fourth in number of points.
Senior Fabiola Ramirez returns for her second and final season with the Bucs. Ramirez joined the team her junior year and quickly became a leader for her teammates on and off the field. Chapman says of Ramirez, “What she lacks in experience she makes up for with strong work ethic and mental and physical toughness. It’s hard to find any of these qualities in most people, to get all three (in one person) is a rare treat. The impact she will have on the incoming freshmen class will only make them stronger.”
Jordyn Murch is back for her second season at Beloit. “I’m looking forward to seeing how Jordyn handles herself as a returner.” comments Chapman, who adds, “[Jordyn] has the skill and vision on the field and she will continue to improve with experience and gained confidence.” In her freshman year, she scored 2 goals and had 3 assists for a total of 7 points. Murch started in every game that she played in and was one of the leaders in assists and shots on goal. Her strong shot and ball handling skill will make her an offensive threat in this upcoming season.
Lesie Hunter was a pinch runner for the Beloit College women’s softball team as a freshman. She joined the soccer team for her first season as a sophomore, playing in 8 games and starting in 5 of them. Hunter returns this season as the team’s fastest sprinter, giving her the edge she needs on both offense and defense. Hunter’s 2014 season was ended early by a knee injury, but her hard working attitude has given her the motivation she needed to come back healthy and strong. Chapman notes, “Alesia was a great addition last season and it hurt to lose her mid-season. From the beginning of preseason this year, there has been a noticeable confidence level difference in Alesia. You can tell she wants it and I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do this year.”
Sophomore Tegan Rock was a key part of the Buccaneers defense in 2014. She played in all 18 games, starting in 17 of them, and scored 2 goals for a total of 4 points. Rock’s toughness in the defensive third of the field earned her respect as a center defender, but equally impressive was her ability to hit accurate shots from long range. She is a threat on both offense and defense. “With the addition of some talented defenders, we are looking to tap into Tegan’s attacking ability. We are going to change her role up a bit and see if we can get her on the board for a few more points.” revealed Chapman, adding, “[Tegan] will still be a leader out of the back, but there is more she can offer and I want to use all the tools I have.”
The Bucs look to start off their season with a win on Tuesday, August 1, at Edgewood College. With their impressive group of returners and large freshman class, it is clear that they have the potential to be a real threat in the Midwest conference in this 2015 season.