After a brief stretch of some tough losses, the women’s soccer team advanced their winning steak to three games as they defeated Brandeis University and SUNY Geneseo this week.
“I think we’ve become really eager to win in last few weeks – we were working off of a few losses, and we’ve been training hard in practice,” senior forward Tammy Brewster said.
The team took the confidence from their upending of Alfred University last week and their eager attitude from practice to the field as they took on Brandeis on their home turf in Waltham, Mass. on Saturday for their first University Athletic Association game of the season.
“We concentrated on being sharp, efficient, getting fit. We asked the team to bring a new level of intensity to training,” head coach Terry Gurnett said of their mentality during recent practices.
Twenty-five minutes into the game, the intensity that they had been practicing with paid off. Brewster’s aggressive offense proved to be no match for the Judges’ defense.
She took a pass from senior forward Ali Streeter straight to the back of the net, scoring her third goal of the season.
The offensive line trusted the ‘Jackets’ defense, under the direction of senior goalkeeper Molly Leitch, to hold the one goal lead, and, at the end of the second half, freshman Meaghan Magee scored the first goal of her college career to give the team insurance. She rocketed a shot, unassisted, past Brandeis’s goalkeeper Hilary Rosenzweig.
“Molly Leitch had a few great saves and I think our offensive line has created some great opportunities resulting in nice goals,” Brewster said.
Brandeis was unable to retaliate and the final score remained a 2-0 shutout.
“All of our seniors really stepped and played well,” Gurnett said. “Also, our three juniors were terrific. Frankly, everyone played well.”
The girls felt confident going into the SUNY Geneseo game, taking the Knights on with home field advantage on Tuesday.
The ‘Jackets came onto the field strong and showed their dominance, scoring the first goal within the first 10 minutes. On a corner kick from senior Laura Morrison, freshman Bridgitte Varin got her head on the ball for her fourth goal of the year. Just five minutes later, the ‘Jackets kicked the Knights while they were down, as Streeter set up Brewster for a 30-yard left wing bomb, advancing the score to 2-0. Impressive defense and goaltending kept the score at that.
Brewster scored her fourth goal of the season on Friday. She leads the team in both goals and points, of which she has 10. Streeter now has five assists for the season and leads the team in assists.
“Everyone is working harder to get to the ball and as a result we’re looking better on the field,” Brewster said. “Our defensive line also held Geneseo to zero shots, so overall they are stepping up.”
Gurnett agreed that the team is really starting to shine.
“I’m feeling that we’re a team that is just beginning to find itself,” he said. “We have a great group -everyone gets on well. With our losses we could have gone another way. I think the character of this team is taking shape. It shows you can’t take anything for granted and the best way out of a situation is to work your way out. We’re trying to do that.” With three shutouts in a row, the women take on New York University at home on Saturday with confidence. This will be their second UAA match of the season.
The Yellowjackets are now 6-3 overall. Officially at the halfway point of their season, they have six league games and three non-league games left.
“I’m feeling confident about the season now; I think we’ve worked out the kinks and we definitely have a lot of personality that can go a long way,” Brewster said.
Paret is a member of the class of 2008.