Girls’ varsity soccer rebuilds

Starting off the 2017 fall soccer season, the girls’ Amherst varsity soccer team haddealt with many setbacks. The loss of 11 seniors this year put the team through some rough circumstances, but it hasn’t stopped the Hurricanes from staying competitive against the top teams.

The season so far has been about “rebuilding,” said head coach Lauren Mordacco, but this hasn’t stopped them from trying to lock in a spot in playoffs.

“The seniors have definitely stepped up more this year,” said senior Jasmine McMickle. “This year is definitely a rebuilding year for the program. We graduated eight seniors last year, and lost six starters from it. This year we’ve spent a lot of time filling in a lot of the gaps and shifting players around to new positions,” said Senior Reilly Lepak, goalie for the Hurricanes.

“We graduated a very strong group of players last year, who had a ton of soccer experience. This year we are very athletic and have some great young players who are finding their stride,” said Ms. Mordacco.

Mordacco believes that a strong and well-disciplined backline will keep the team in games. “I coach a passing game. Being disciplined defensively will keep us in games and give us opportunities to build upon,” she said.

The eight rising players have been good. “The team chemistry has definitely been better,” said McMickle. “Everyone likes each other, we are more put together now.”

In the first half of the season the schedule was packed with games, which created many injuries for the team. “We try to rest when we can. Which was difficult because we had a packed first half of season, but we made it through that and are now taking advantage of off days and recovery sessions,” said Mordacco.

McMickle, currently the top scorer on the team, is currently injured and will probably only be back to play three or four games if they don’t make playoffs. “I might miss senior night. It’s so sad,” said McMickle.

“We need to better at moving off the ball and getting numbers in the box. We could definitely benefit from attacking with more numbers in the final third of the field,” said Mordacco.

Fixing this problem might just surprise everyone; keeping the pressure on and keeping players in the box could just be the key for the Amherst Hurricanes to score more goals.

“We have our good and bad days, but ultimately I think that starting out each game with more enthusiasm and really come out wanting to win. We have the talent to win games, we just need to play to our full potential,” said Lepak.

Mordacco’s advice for the seniors is simple. “I just tell them to work hard and remind them that they will never get these games back and they don’t want to end the season asking themselves ‘What if?’”

For future players, she says, “being on varsity isn’t just about a person’s talent and athleticism, a lot of it is discipline, attitude and work ethic. The varsity team has fun, but it’s a big commitment.”

“We brought on a lot of skilled players from the freshman class and from JV this year. They’ll have a decent team for the next few years,” said Lepak.

Despite falling short of the playoffs, the girls played well in their final five games.