The Yellowjackets approached Wednesday night’s game against Nazareth College with a 1-1 record stemming from a dominating win over SUNY Oswego on Sept. 4 and a 2-0 loss to the nationally-recognized SUNY Cortland Red Dragons on Sept. 8.
“We’re a pretty young team,” Head Coach Michelle Andre said, “but [we have] lots of talent.”
Of the 22-member team, there are 11 sophomores and seven freshmen, including four freshman starters.
Sophomore captain Mary DiMatteo applauded her younger teammates saying, “The freshmen have brought natural skill and an eagerness to improve.” She continued to describe the team as “competitive, meaning starting positions and playing time have to be earned every day.”
This healthy competition at practice could prove to be what sets the Yellowjackets apart from their opponents this season. After a week of game play, UR has been focusing on quick passes and moving the ball across the field.
“In the last week there has been definite improvement in our midfield transition,” DiMatteo said.
As a result, Rochester has outshot its opponents 29-19. DiMatteo, sophomore Krista Butler, and senior captain Erin Charnow have provided all UR goals, while sophomores Kristy Johnson and Celinda Fletcher and freshmen Kim Snyder and Kari Plewniak lead the team in assists.
All goals were scored during the first half of both games.
“I think we’re going to make a name for ourselves this year,” Andre said.
DiMatteo concurred. “Everyone has made an effort to step it up this year because they, too, see the potential of the team,” she said.
The Yellowjackets’ goal is to make it to postseason and to be the Liberty League champions.
“I don’t think either goal is farfetched,” DiMatteo said. “I have seen what we are capable of doing.”
“They know their potential,” Andre said. “We’re very, very good and we want to be good.”
UR will face Utica College at home on Sept. 19 and head to Elmira College for the second away game of the season on Sept. 21.
Anderson can be reached at email@example.com.