Assistant Sports Editor
After a promising start during pre-season play, the women’s soccer team was never able to spark a wave of momentum to mount a push toward its playoff aspirations.
Instead, the Leopards finished 3-15, with just seven goals scored.
Junior forward Jessica Hernandez embraced a leadership role this season and although she led the team with three goals, she was not satisfied with her individual contributions. She views the season as a frustrating but valuable stepping stone the team will use to build on in the off-season.
Putting wins and losses aside, Hernandez said she saw many strengths in her team throughout the season that can be utilized in shaping a winning culture for years to come.
“This team played with an unbelievable amount of pride, especially with the way we were losing such close games,” Hernandez said. “We never played as though we were losing, and every player gave 100 percent effort each game no matter the score. It tells a lot about the people you come to work with every day.”
During fall camp, the entire team set both individual and team goals for the season. Hernandez knows the team’s performance did not live up to expectations, but she is proud of the growth in player bonds.
“We fell short of our competitive goals, which is hard to stomach,” Hernandez said. “Off the field, we reached our goal of increasing our overall chemistry within the team. I could definitely feel the culture shifting in a positive direction.”
With her third season coming to a close, Hernandez knows her time left playing is limited, and looks forward to the opportunities senior year will bring.
“This is my opportunity to show all that I’ve learned over the years,” Hernandez said. “I have goals I will set and plan to achieve, but just the chance to keep learning and better myself on and off the field is what I look forward to most.”
Following in injury-plagued junior season, senior goalkeeper Heather Seman did not disappoint, often single handedly keeping her team in the game.
“Personally this season went well for me. I’ve had a lot of injuries over the years and I got to play a full season,” Seman said.
One of the biggest reasons the season did not go as well as the Leopards hoped was a lack of scoring.
“We just couldn’t put the ball in the net,” Seman said. “It was not lack of trying, everyone worked hard – our forwards, midfielders and defenders.”
She said she is going to miss the little everyday things the most now that her collegiate career is over.
“I already miss being with my teammates,” Seman said. “I’ll miss practicing and seeing them every single day.”
Jacob Whannel can be reached at email@example.com.
Jose Brambila can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.