Queens women’s soccer team has had a successful season, due to hard summer training and a preseason focus on game tactics, according to head coach Katie Talbert.
By the first two games, the team was ranked 22nd in the nation by the SCAA Continental Tier NCAA Division II Women’s National Poll as of Sept. 10. They were also ranked third in the Southeast region.
Brooke Foil and Jen Swanstrom are two of the senior starters and team captains. Foil is very excited about the accolades they are receiving this year.
“We want to make the NCAA tournament and win the conference tournament,” she said. “Freshmen have stepped up and taken big responsibilities.”
She went on to say that although these are ambitious goals, they are very reachable given how well the team has been training.
Caitlyn Rodrigues, freshman, is currently the leading scorer. She recently scored three goals in a game against Shorter University.
The freshmen twins on defense, Ashley and Shelby Osiecki, have also had a commanding presence.
It is rare for freshmen to be so mentally and physically prepared in any sport, especially soccer, team members pointed out.
Talbert had lots of praise for the team. Following are some of her interview responses.
Q: What has made your team so successful this year?
“Our team trained very hard this summer and the players came in physically fit. This allowed us to be able to spend the short preseason focusing on the technical and tactical side of the game instead of the fitness aspect. This also allowed the majority of our players to stay healthy through the rigors of early three-a-day sessions.”
Q: How big of a role did recruiting play ?
“We play an average of 11 new players a game. The new players have scored 16 of our 19 goals and this class has assisted 11 of the 16 assisted goals. I would have to say that the 2013 class is one of the strongest recruited classes in the conference if you compare to the impact they have had this season related to the other teams in the Southeast. Our staff worked very hard to prepare for the transition to the South Atlantic Conference and we are extremely proud of how they are contributing immediately.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the freshmen’s contribution to the team?
“We are very proud of how the entire class has embraced our mentality and how hard they work every training session to compete for Queens. The leadership of the upperclassmen has provided the support the new players need to be successful and those returning players created the framework for the fundamentals the freshmen exemplify on and off the field. When one player is successful, the entire team joins in celebrating the recognition with her. Caitlyn [Rodrigues] has worked tirelessly and I am so proud of her for the impact she has made. She is standout student-athlete and she is the type of teammate that everyone wants to work hard to play with on the field.”
Q: What are some of the challenges coming up in the future?
“The SAC schedule is very difficult. There are no easy games. Now that we have rounded the corner of the second half of the season, we have to take it one game at a time and have consistency and urgency in all areas of our game.”
As of press time, the Royals have a 10-4-2 season record and are 5-3-2 on the season.