After a “reality check season,” the Queens College women’s soccer team — with a squad of 21 players — kicked off the 2012 season last week with a win against St. Anslem and a tie against Pace University.
Both St. Anslem and Pace belong to the NE-10 Conference, a conference placed higher than the East Coast Conference, which Queens College is a member of.
Last season, the team of 18 players won only seven games, which halted their four-year streak of consecutive winning seasons. Head coach Carl Christian said that some of the contributing factors for the poor result were injuries, having no depth and the departure of eight senior players from the previous year.
“From a results perspective it was a disappointing season,” Christian said. “It was a wake-up call that talent only takes you so far and ability only takes you so far. Everything has to be in place in order to be successful, not only on the field but off the field. All it comes down to is hard work, commitment and working together as a team to be successful.”
Senior goalkeeper Allison Breakey, is now the team’s sole captain after sharing duties with Andrea Slavin, who graduated last year and received the QC Athletics Outstanding Senior award.
“Our attitude and demeanor is completely different from last year,” Breakey said. “It was a disappointing season but instead of that hindering our success this year, it has only motivated us to come out strong and on top.”
The team is debuting 10 members — nine new players and a new assistant coach, Heather Barclay. Barclay, who works with the team on and off the field, was described by Christian as an asset to the program, and by Breakey as a key to their success.
While the addition of nine players alters the team’s chemistry, Breakey believes chemistry requires time. The more a team plays together and the more time spent together, the faster chemistry will grow.
An increase of players on the roster also provides depth to the team, which creates congenial competition — players challenging each other for playing time and starting roles — and brings alternative options in circumstances of fatigue and injuries, according to Christian.
Despite the 2011 season being “disappointing,” Christian and Breakey concur that the constructive elements the season created helped the team become aware of what is required of each player and as a team in order to be successful.
This season, the Lady Knights are determined to take it to make the ECC playoffs, become conference champions and compete nationally.
“Our team’s drive to win and desire is far better this year,” said Breakey.