After a frustrating 6-10-3 season, which included six losses by only one score, the Millersville Women’s soccer team hoped a blank slate for the 2009 season would help them rebound and forget last year’s woes.
It would seem that the Marauders have nowhere to go but up after being picked to finish sixth out of seven teams in the PSAC East preseason polls.
Unfortunately, the Marauders appear to be headed in the wrong direction. After dropping a match against rival West Chester, Millersville fell to 1-4 overall and 0-3 in conference play and now sits at the bottom of PSAC East standings.
Luckily for the Marauders, it is still a very young season.
Last year the team came out of the gates with a roar starting off with a 4-2 overall record before going 2-8-3 in their final 13 matches.
During the streak of paltry play, the Marauders lost six consecutive matches before tying two games and finally put and end to their winless streak with a win against Chestnut Hill.
The trick for the Marauders this season will be their ability to rebound and not repeat last year’s slump.
Millersville started the season 1-1 but have quickly lost three matches in a row and are in danger of duplicating moments they would like to forget from last season.
To do so the team will most definitely have to improve their scoring offense.
The team finished 12th out of 15 teams in both conference’s of the PSAC in scoring offense with an average of just 1.53 goals scored per game.
The Marauders seem headed in the right direction offensively. In just the second game of the season, Millersville manhandled visiting Goldey-Beacom tallying 28 total shots and pulled away with a 5-0 victory.
But the Marauders have not won since then.
The team opened conference play the following match against East Stroudsburg and fell 5-2.
Millersville also dropped the next two matches against Bloomsburg and West Chester by scores of 3-1 and 3-0 respectively.
While the offense currently has improved to 1.8 goals per game, there is still room for improvement.
Although, offense is not the only aspect of a well-played soccer game. The team must put in the effort on the defensive end as well.
Part of that task will be taking the pressure off of freshman goalkeeper Maria Alexandrowicz, who replaces recent graduate Jamie Lancaster.
As with any sport, it will take going through some growing pains for a freshman to acclimated to the college level of play, but the team is confident Alexandrowicz is up to the task.
Last season, defense was what kept the Marauders in the majority of their games.
The team allowed only one goal or less in 11 games a year ago, and hopes to replicate similar results this season.
However, this early in the season the team has not been able to do so.
In order to turn things around the team will have to rely on what experience they have on such a young roster.
The Marauders will look to the only two seniors, defender Kacie Stalb and midfielder Sarah Cameron to provide the veteran leadership that is needed for any varsity team.
Lucky for them, they will not experience too much pressure in easing the underclassmen learning curve because the roster includes 12 other returnees, 10 of whom have started on the team previously.
After only five games, Millersville has learned enough about themselves to have an understanding of what it is going to take to turn things around. In sports it is not how you start, but how you finish.
Fortunately for the Marauders they have 14 games remaining to finish strong.