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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, June 22, 2024

Women's soccer team kicks off season with high hopes

Forward Alex Scheman goes for a header in Wednesday’s season opener against Lesley.

The women's soccer team enters its new season with high hopes and expectations of success, aiming to finish in the top four of the NESCAC and contend for a conference championship.

Tufts opened up the season yesterday afternoon with a home game against Lesley with three first-year starters. First-year Taylor Koscho started in a defensive line trying to recover from the loss of Catharine Greer (LA '15); Emma Ranalli started in the midfield and Emily Bowers started in goal for the Jumbos. Tufts dropped the contest in overtime by a score of 1-0 after Lesley's Samantha Bessey scored in the 92nd minute. The team's in-conference schedule is set to kick off on Saturday, Sept. 12 with another home game against Colby at Kraft Field.

A season ago, the Jumbos got off to a hot 5-1-1 start before struggling in the latter half of the season. This year's team is young, including just three seniors and 11 new players, which just might be a formula for success, according to senior co-captain center-back Nicole Campellone.

“While it’s an extremely young team...we also have 13 returners, so we have both the experience and the fresh legs that we need to succeed," Campellone told the Daily in an email. "Being that this is such a new team, we have the ability to really establish our own identity as Tufts Women’s Soccer, which makes this season that much more exciting and that much more special."

The team finished the 2014 season with an even 7-7-2 record overall, with 35 goals for compared to 23 against. However, the Jumbos had some difficulty within the NESCAC, finishing with a 3-6-1 record and tied for seventh in the conference. The team is confident that it can improve those marks in this upcoming season.

"Going into this season I definitely have high expectations for the team," junior forward Jess Capone told the Daily in an email. "We have a strong core of returners coming back along with a great group of freshmen." 

One of the keys to securing such results, Capone said, is to play a high-octane defense.

“We’ve been working on high-pressure defense all over the field during practice,"Capone said. "I think if we are able to execute this during games then we will be successful." 

Campellone has been impressed with the team’s preseason play and has lofty goals for the season to come. Ultimately, she says, the team will need to take the season one game, and one moment, at a time.

"I want to be the best team in the NESCAC, and I think that is a goal that many of the girls share, but more importantly, as a team I think our goal is to take each game as it comes -- to play in the moment and not so much focus on the outcome or result, but on the effort and the heart that we put into the game every time we step on the field," Campellone said.  "It’s all about volition. If we do that, there is no doubt in my mind that we can move up in the NESCAC and compete for a championship.”

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