The USF Women’s Soccer Club players are dusting off their cleats as they gear up to play Stetson University, UF and UCF for their first competitive matches of the 2016-17 season. They travel to Stetson on Friday evening before hosting UF and UCF on Sunday at Sycamore Fields.
“I think that we have a good chance against Stetson and it will turn into a battle against UF and UCF,” said Madison Sehn, president, captain and goalkeeper of the Women’s Soccer Club. “Playing the two toughest teams in our region on the first weekend and in a double header will be very tough with only a couple of practices under our belts, but I believe we have the talent to win.”
Sehn is a public health and biomedical sciences major going into her third year as a returning veteran of the team. Having played in their fair share of tryouts for the club, Sehn and vice president and defender Nikki Aiosa were impressed with the turnout for this season.
“It was nice being on the other side of tryouts this year,” said Aiosa, a sophomore majoring in cell and molecular biology. “They went rather smoothly and it was exciting to see how many new girls were interested in playing—we had almost 20 new girls come to tryouts.”
With fresh faces on the team, the club hopes to build on last season’s successful year as part of the NIRSA Region 2 Women’s Collegiate Club Soccer League Florida Division.
“Last year we did very well in our season with coming in second place in the Clemson tournament, beating teams like University of Georgia and University of North Carolina,” Sehn said. “We were ranked number one in the division two region after the tournament.”
The team finished top of the division but narrowly missed a bid to regionals, hoping to make this year the year they go all the way.
“Our number one goal for the season is to make it to regionals,” Sehn said. “We were extremely close last year and hope to capitalize on our new talent added to the team.”
Sehn went on to say that she is confident going into this weekend despite the challenges faced in the first weeks of practice.
“I think that we are ready to fight,” she said. “Due to our lack of practices because of the storm, we haven’t had much time to become completely organized as a new team but I believe this weekend will be a great testament and start to the season.”
From there it’s onwards and upwards for the Women’s Soccer Club as its members look to improve their team chemistry in the coming weeks when they face opponents such as FSU, UM, FGCU and FAU.
“Since we have only had a few practices, we will be looking to improve team cohesiveness,” Aiosa said. “There are a lot of new girls and we will all have to get used to each other’s playing styles.”
The club is always welcoming new players who are looking to join because of their love of the game.
“I joined the club to continue playing competitive soccer as I had all my life,” Sehn said. “I encourage anyone who wants to play sports competitively and travel to play Florida universities to look in to club sports.”
After tonight’s game at Stetson, the team kicks off at USF on Sycamore Fields on Sunday. The team will take the field against UF at 11:30 a.m., followed by UCF at 3:00 p.m. Attendance is free, so come out to watch and show your support!
For more USF Women’s Soccer Club and Sport Clubs information, visit our website.
By Huw Morgan-Baveystock, USF Sport Clubs Marketing Assistant