Women's soccer wins Mayor's Cup

Nicole Mascia, ’11, has two goals this season for the 6-0 Gators. Photo by Charlie Magovern/The Campus

Last weekend’s away trip to Oneonta, N.Y. gained the Gators the Mayor’s Cup championship title for their wins against Hartwick and Oneonta State, the latter of which is ranked 19th in the nation.

The women’s soccer team opened with a strong start this season,
winning all five matches without a single goal scored against them. The Gators’ success is even more impressive considering their competition.

“We play in a very strong competitive conference,” said head coach Michael Webber. “It’s usually ranked within the top five conferences in the country based on power ratings and things like that.”

Assistant coach Linda Schirmeister believes the Gators’ early season dominance is a product of talent.

“We probably have, from what I’ve seen, the best group of individual players in the conference this year,” she said. “We play good football. We play good-looking soccer. We move the ball around very well and we’re a very skilled team.”

Schirmeister is new to Allegheny this season. Last season’s assistant coach took a new position elsewhere, and Webber found himself in a pinch.

“Linda joined us probably the day before preseason started,” Webber said. “I was scrambling and fortunately Linda was able to join the staff real quick. We work pretty well together. We’re on the same page and we like to do a lot of the same things.”

Despite the team’s outstanding start, both coaches and players are working hard in order to keep the Gators playing well.

“As coaches we really stick to fundamentals and try to do some teaching and then take that to the bigger picture,” Webber said. “Our focus is developing our players, having them play our style, and having other teams hopefully worry about us, instead of us worrying about them and not playing the way we’re capable of playing.”

The team’s efforts are showing, but the players still acknowledge room for improvement in order to bring their game to an even higher level of competition.

“It is important, however, that we keep everything in perspective and just take one game at a time. Although we are playing good soccer right now there are still things we can work on, which is exciting because we are doing so well and we can still find things to work on to make us even more successful,” said midfielder Julie Muller, ’11.

“I hope to create more goal scoring opportunities for the team on offense,” said midfielder Nicole Mascia, ’11, who has tallied one goal on two shots so far. “I want us to score lots of goals this year; we certainly have the talent to do so.”

The Gators have gained eight freshmen this year. While in other circumstances the upperclassmen might be concerned about such a high number of less experienced newcomers, it seems the freshmen are fitting right in with the older players.

“The freshmen have done so well these past few weeks. They have made an immediate impact on the team,” Muller said. “We could honestly put anyone on the field and be confident that the job will get done.”

While the team is off to a good start, the coaches still make sure to push the players to continue to improve their skills as a team.

“Our focus right now is just on every day,” coach Webber said. “We think it’s important just to have the goal to be your best today in training and then that will carry over into how we play.”

The Gators already have an intimidating line up of individuals, but the coaches hope to use this season to build more teamwork.

“We don’t get beaten, we beat ourselves. If we play our game all through this year, we should win every game, and there’s no game out there that’s going to beat us,” assistant coach Schirmeister said.

“When we stop playing our game, that’s when we beat ourselves.”