The Hawks finished their season on Thursday, October 18th with a loss to Montgomery College. With new Head Coach Nina Duron, CSM's women's soccer team finished 3-7 on the year, but the record doesn't show how hard the team played with the adversity they had all season.
After starting the season 2-0, the Hawks went 1-3 to close out the month of September. With the exception of Leslie Gomez, the roster of 14 girls dwindled quickly due to four players suffering season injuries, which left the Hawks playing the second half of their season with 10 players. Despite playing with one less player than their opponents, the Hawks were not discouraged due to the hard fought effort they showed on the field every time they stepped on the field.
"I want to set the expectation of intensity; that we are never giving up." said Duron about her outlook at the beginning of the season. "When they get tired, they just stop, I want to push that boundary to where I want my girls to know not to give up, and keep pushing until they hit that wall."
While not giving up, the way the Hawks were able to finish the season was taking it one day at a time.
"I am going to try and take it day by day and game by game," continued Duron, "and not so much that my girls get caught up in strengths of other teams that we are just going to come out and bring their best. They have done really well in their pre-season and getting more into our functional sessions and they have blossomed a whole lot in the past couple of weeks."
The team did blossom this year, and their hard work in the pre-season paid off when they started 2-0 with a full, healthy team. With a combination of hard work and taking the season one day at a time, the Hawks were able to fulfill the expectations that were set by Duron throughout the year. One of the reasons why the Hawks fulfilled Duron's expectations was her belief in her team.
"I'm big on coaching on the positives", said Duron. "I feel like, especially with women, you get a lot further with them and they give you a lot more when you give out more on the positives and not so much on the negatives. There is a way to approach the weaknesses better, but it can be done in a positive manner. I want them to know that I have their back and that I believe in them. I do feel confident for the season and building off that foundation for next year as well."
On the offensive side of the ball, one of the players that Duron can build around for next year is Karleigh Cohen. She led the Hawks in goals with six, totaling with 13 points, and a shot on goal percentage of 40.4%. Maurizia Gianan was productive on offense as well, using her agility and quickness to get past defenders and use her body to control the ball. While she only had a goal and an assist with a shot on goal percentage of 56%, Gianan has all the skills to be an impact player next season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Hawks were anchored by the play of Jordan Griffith. While she doesn't have any shots on goal recorded throughout the season, her tall frame was able to give the offensive opponents havoc as she used her body to fend off opponents. She has a good leg to advance the ball to her team on offense and has established a solid foundation that can be molded into a better player next season. Midfielder Jenna Purdy had an assist on the season, and her versatility to play well on both sides of the ball can serve as another building block for Duron next season.
While the record doesn't display the hard working effort the Hawks displayed this season, the upside for having a team full of freshman is that they can build off this season and learn what they can improve upon in their sophomore season. Duron will look forward to that, as well as bringing in her own recruits in order to establish her own culture for the CSM Women's Soccer program.