Published: Monday, August 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 01:10
The UNCW women’s soccer team’s record last year did not reflect their performance on the field.The Seahawks lost nine games by one goal last season, proving that they have the ability to become one of the top competitors in the CAA. The team enters this season looking to close out games more effectively and successfully flip-flop those close games into victories.
“Last season, we lost several games by one goal, very close games,” said Coach Paul Cairney. “I think if we can make those one goal games in our favor and win those closer games, we’ll be in a position to compete for a championship.”
Another reason for optimism entering the season is the several newcomers joining the team. Two transfers along with 17 freshmen were on the preseason roster. They will be looked at to add more offensive firepower to the squad.
“We have a lot of new players that bring energy to practice,” said Cairney. “It’s giving us depth and competition at a lot of positions. We have more players that can look to score, and that frees up our attackers to give us a more balanced strategy. They bring energy, enthusiasm, and competition to each position.”
Veteran leadership is also still present on the team, as senior Stephanie Rose, a Third-Team All-CAA selection and the team’s leading goal scorer, returns along with former All-CAA selection senior goalkeeper Caitlin Hunter.
The Seahawks defeated the UNC Tar Heels in their exhibition match 2-0 before heading to Blacksburg, Virginia to participate in the Hilton Garden Inn Hokie Invitational where they lost 1-0 to #22 Virginia Tech in double overtime and tied #3 Wake Forest 0-0.
Both results suggest a promising season is ahead for a team that was already on the cusp of becoming one of the CAA’s elite squads last year.
The Seahawks host 10 games at the UNCW Soccer Stadium this season, beginning Friday, August 31 against Charlotte.
“It’s an exciting venue to watch a game,” said Cairney. “The facility offers the students close-up contact with a game, and we want them to come out and enjoy watching us play.”