Make It Happen

Our theme moving through conference this season is “Make It Happen”.  This means that in order for CWS to do well in conference play and earn a first-seed spot in the conference tournament, we have to have the attitude and effort to put goals in the back of the net, or make goals happen!  The past two weeks we have had consistently great and intense practices, focused on transitions and going to goal.  Yesterday, that hard work paid off.  CWS played in our first Conference game against Berry College away in Rome, GA.  We came out on top with a 1-0 win with freshman, Lucy Yanckello’s, goal in the 63rd minute.  With a very solid defensive line backed up by goalkeepers Holly Hilton and Olivia Alford, CWS kept Berry scoreless the rest of the game, posting our seventh shutout of the season. 

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With the tough opposition and the majority of our conference games on the road this year, every game will be challenging.  However, this gives us a chance to get away from the distractions present back at Centre and allows us to focus on one game at a time.

CWS faces Spalding on Tuesday – just another opportunity to make it happen. 

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Emory

ImageLast weekend, CWS traveled to play Emory in Atlanta, GA.  We had a very relaxing ride to and from Atlanta on our luxurious charter bus complete with pull-down beds, reclining seats, tables with built-in cup holders, and flat screen TV’s.  Needless to say, we were a little spoiled!  Although it was only a one-time deal, CWS was extremely fortunate and thankful of Centre and our wonderful coaches for making all this possible.   

ImageThis is the third season that CWS has played Emory.  Although we didn’t pull the win this time (3-1), we know that playing such a challenging team only made us get better and stronger.  It also helped us prepare for our first conference game the following weekend.  

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Preseason

After a successful season last year, which included two all Americans, a Coach of the Year and the first ever SAA championship title, Centre Women’s Soccer was eager to begin training for another season.

Unfortunately, an unusual amount of injuries provided a new obstacle for CWS to overcome. Often training sessions were altered in order to accommodate for nearly 10 to 15  players off the field. Below, CWS enjoys a pool workout.

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Despite this setback, CWS pushed through the adversity by practicing with intensity. Incoming players were expected to learn a lot and meet the standard of college play, and they certainly did.

Off of the field, this preseason CWS enjoyed a cooking class together in Lexington at Wild Thyme.

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At the end of practice today, the seniors read a letter of why CWS plays for each other and what the team means to them.  Players were all smiles. Tomorrow, CWS will start their season at 5:00pm against Ohio Wesleyan in the Centre showcase, followed by another game Saturday at 5:00pm against Case Western Reserve.

Stay Tuned.

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Rivalry Week

Continuing on with their long stretch of away games, Centre manages to pick up another road victory at Transylvania University on Wednesday to continue the season at 6-0.  Winning 2-0, we now have outscored our opponents in six games 18-3.   Katie Stevenson scored off of a beautiful corner from Maddie Slattery in the 30th minute to lead us into half with the lead at 1-0.

At halftime, we made a few switches and came out strong in the second half.  Mary-Taylor Kersey scored a goal off of yet another cross from Maddie Slattery, which was her second assist of the night, in the 68th minute.  Megan Foley made five saves in goal for Centre and along with Holly Hilton, they posted their third shut out of the year.

We continue our games on the road playing Denison on Saturday and Mount St Joseph on Sunday, both games away.

6-0 feels pretty good.

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Players of the Week

This past week, Centre has accomplished many great feats on the field.  The Centre women’s soccer team beat Hanover 2-1 last Saturday in Hanover, Indiana.  Mary-Taylor Kersey marked her fourth goal of the season off of a cross from Amy Hebbeler.  Two minutes later, Hanover scored.  But with ten minutes remaining in the half, Hebbeler made a penalty kick to put the colonels ahead to go on and eventually win 2-1.

Hebbeler’s performance ultimately allowed her to be named Defensive Player of the Week by Southern Athletic Association for games played September 10-16.  Hebbeler is a senior defender and has led the team to a 0.6 goals against average.  She was the driving force behind our win against the previously unbeaten Hanover.  Coach Jays describes her as a confident player.  He said, “[Her] confidence is exactly what a coach hopes will happen from his top players, and I am very proud that Amy was recognized for this honor.” This is the second time in her collegiate career that Hebbeler has been named as a Player of the Week, the first time being Freshman year when she was named Offensive Player of the Week.  Pretty fitting that she has book-ended her collegiate time with such great honor, and I’m sure there is more to come from her.

It is exciting that Hebbeler won her award in week 2 after freshman Alex Combs won Offensive Player of the Week for week 1.  Alex is one of our top technical players and has already made a mark with four assists and three goals on the season.  We are definitely excited to see what more she will bring this season and in seasons to come.

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September 20, 2012 · 3:41 pm

A Resilient Team

We left after classes on Friday to head out on our first road trip of the year. Our first stop was Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.  Going in to the game, we knew that it would be tough.  Currently they are first in our region and 13th in the country.

In our pregame speech, Jay stood in front of us holding a piece of paper with the word “impossible” written on it.  He explained that no one else expected us to win, so we were definitely the underdog.  Although he and Coach Chisley knew we could, other people did not.  Not only were we playing a higher ranked team, but we were playing on the road at their house on their opening day. I don’t know about the rest of the team, but personally I love being the underdog.  I love exceeding people’s expectations and doing what is considered the impossible. Anyways, Jay continued by telling us all we need is one simple line to change the entire meaning of the word.  He drew in a contraction between the “i” and the “m” to make the word say “I’m possible.”  Just like that one simple line, all we needed to do was play our game.  Just a few simple strung passes, winning every 50/50 ball we could, one nice cross, all would lead to one simple finish.  All we needed for the win was to make that simple line, that simple finish, to change the meaning of what we were set out to do.  We were not set out to achieve the impossible, because all of us have the ability to make it possible.

So we did.

Mary-Taylor Kersey found Anne Mitchell in the 22nd minute for her to score her first goal of the year off of an amazing shot from 20 yards out.  Later that half, with six minutes on the clock, Megan Rueth found the back of the net to allow the Lady Colonels a 2-0 advantage at half.  The second half began and the Colonels maintained control for most of it, having Alex Combs cap the scoring off in the 72nd minute with a beautiful shot to the upper 90.  We went on to win 3-0.  In goal, we had Megan Foley and Holly Hilton split time with Hilton making two saves and Foley one.

The win was exciting and fun, however, we still had another team to accomplish for the weekend: Rose Hulman.  We enjoyed our Olive Garden dinner, but once we were done we got back on the bus to continue onward from Cleveland to Terre Haute, IN.  Finally at almost one in the morning, we arrived in Terre Haute at our hotel and immediately went to bed.  We woke up and had breakfast and study tables.  At noon, we got back on the bus to head to Rose Hulman to get taped and begin our pre-game rituals.
Coming off of a solid win against Case, we were the favorite to win the game.  In the 27th minute, Alex Combs had a free kick just outside of the box.  On a deflection off of the other team, Combs recorded yet another goal in her third straight game of the season to put the Colonels on the board and up 1-0.

Eight minutes later, the Colonels committed a foul in our penalty area giving the Engineers a penalty kick. The game was tied 1-1. From then on the game was deadlocked at 1-1.  We had 10 corners to their 1, but for whatever reason, we could not seem to score off of a dead ball that game.  We out shot the Engineers 25-2, but could not find a ball to go in. With 1:06 on the clock, Mary-Taylor Kersey managed to get a shot off 25-30 yards out and it went in.  We went on to win the game 2-1.  The Centre defense, led by keepers Megan Foley and Holly Hilton, only allowed two shots the entire game, and none in the second half.  They are solid and have truly helped our driving offense thus far.

I call us resilient because in my three years, this is the most resilient team I have played for at Centre.  We are not content with a tie or going into overtime.  This team has found a way two times in four games now, to make a difference in the closing minutes of the game.  We just do not stop.  Whether we are down one against JCU and come back in the final 11 minutes to score twice and win, or we see the clock quickly ticking against a team we have had 24 shots on and score in the final minute, we do not give up.  We have shown that it truly takes just one shot, one chance, one opportunity to make a difference in this game.  What matters is the attitude and the effort that we have put in since summer work outs through preseason and to present day.  We have shown we do not give up, we have proven we are a resilient team, and with our attitude thus far I think it is safe to say we have an exciting season in store for us.

Our  next game is again on the road against Hanover, another in-region Top 5 team. It should be an exciting game.

4-0

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First Week Rankings

After the first week of rankings were published, the Centre College Lady Colonels remained in the Top-25 coming in at 25th in the country and 3rd in the Great Lakes Region.  With two tough in-region games this weekend, we hope to do well and to climb up even further. For the full story, visit the link to our Centre College Women’s Soccer website: http://www.centreathletics.com/sports/wsoc/2012-13/releases/201209057qm31o 

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