Trinity womenâ€™s soccer is gearing up for their upcoming fall season in which they defend their claim to the past eight consecutive conference championships. Overall the Tigers have won 21 SCAC championships.
â€œI think itâ€™s gonna be a great year,â€ said Meredith Licata, rising senior forward. â€œWe have a lot of seniors returning. Iâ€™m excited to get playing again and really just excited to be out there one more time.â€
The team is currently preparing for the upcoming season with kick arounds, unofficial practices and lifting together as a team, as well as crafting their new identity after the loss of seven seniors who were great contributors to the program.
â€œ[The graduating seniors] were a phenomenal group of leaders and people and players,â€ said Julia Camp, rising senior forward. â€œFinding people to fill their roles on the field and also missing them as people and as friends is a challenge, but I think itâ€™s something weâ€™re prepared to do and people are already stepping up.â€
The Tigers are looking forward to see how players step into fill the rolls left by players like All-American forward Yasmeen Farra.
â€œI am most excited about finding our new strengths after losing quite a few seniors. A lot of the seniors were a part of the starting line up, so it will be fun to see people step up and fill those roles,â€ said Chelsea Cole, rising junior center midfielder. â€œOur team overall just has a lot of really talented soccer players who know how to play the game. Even with the changes from season to season, we can always rely on our fundamental skills.â€
This season will also be the teamâ€™s second with head coach Dylan Harrison at the helm.
â€œLast year was our first season with him, so we didnâ€™t really know what to expect,â€ Cole said. â€œGoing into preseason with an idea of what to expect will be comforting and he also makes everything fun, but highly competitive.â€
In addition to continuing under the Trinity soccer alumâ€™s leadership, the dominant Tigers are excited about the rising leadership of the new senior class.
â€œWe have a big [rising] senior class, a lot of people who have played a lot over the years, a lot of leadership and people who know what their roles are and how to do it and how to be examples for the younger players,â€ Licata said. â€œJulia Camp, Colleen Markey score a lot of goals so it will be exciting to have them back and watch them play.â€
â€œWe have a lot of depth and a lot of different personalities,â€ Camp said. â€œEveryone is kind of stepping up into their role this spring which has been really great for us.â€
Players like Markey, Camp and many other returners have been huge contributors to the program and as they step to the forefront of their senior year will develop a team that matches their personality and style of play.
â€œOur leadership will be strong,â€ Frye said. â€œA lot of the juniors and rising seniors have stepped into roles that I think are really going to fill the spots of the outgoing seniors. It will be interesting to see what they bring as their kind of own role as making it their own team in their senior year.â€
The Tigers played a spectacularly strong season last year, remaining undefeated until they fell to the eventual national champion Washington University team in the Round of 8.
â€œBecause our returning team is so strong I think our goal is just kind of pick up where we left off,â€ Camp said.
The National Championship is always the goal for the Tigers, something you will hear repeated by players on both the men and womenâ€™s teams.
â€œThe goal every year â€” weâ€™re not gonna hide it â€” is to win a national championship,â€ Frye said.
Camp explains the teams sheâ€™d most like to face again are those to whom sheâ€™d lost.
â€œThomas More, Hardin Simmons and Wash U are the only three games Iâ€™ve lost in my career here,â€ Camp said. â€œI would love to get a chance to have a rematch of those games so Iâ€™m kind of hoping we run into them in the NCAA tournament.â€
Each loss over the careers of the rising seniors were during the NCAA tournament. The Tigers face little competition within the SCAC, winning conference games by extreme margins, the greatest of which was a blowout 12-0 victory over Centenary College.
â€œWeâ€™re very used to winning within our conference so once we get to the big games and the NCAA playoffs we sometimes struggle to get into the fast pace with teams that are just as offensive as us,â€ Licata said.
Last seasonâ€™s conference play saw the Tigers allowed only two goals, while scoring 66.
â€œWeâ€™re a very possession-oriented team and when we play a team thatâ€™s not possession oriented thatâ€™s when we get in trouble,â€ Frye said.
Trinity soccer is working on ways to become even stronger as the edge toward the upcoming season.
â€œI think the team can improve our already strong game by recognizing what we are good at and making sure that we stick to it and do it consistently. We should also be aware of our weaknesses and try to make sure those donâ€™t get exploited,â€ Cole said. â€œAs we start to play more together without the graduating seniors, it will be more clear what needs to get better.â€
â€œItâ€™s gonna be great to watch how it all plays out,â€ Camp said.