The women’s soccer team has had no trouble finding the back of the net this season. Last year, the Blue and Gold managed to score 34 goals through its first seven games. This season, the Bomber’s scoring hasn’t been quite as high, but the team still leads the Empire 8 conference in goals scored with 27 through eight games.
In the team’s six wins this season, the Blue and Gold have outscored opponents by a 27–3 margin, with the most lopsided score being a 6–0 shutout victory at Utica College on Sept. 15. The team also outshot its first seven opponents 190–45.
Sophomore center midfielder Julie Winn said the goal scoring is a result of the types of drills the team works on during practice.
“We do a lot of finishing drills and crosses because we’ve been trying to work on finishing so we can bring our whole game together,” Winn said. “We always focus on following our shots in case the goalie bobbles the ball, so offense is a huge focus
Though many think that offense starts when a team has the ball, sophomore outside midfielder Caroline Jastremski said the team’s scoring begins with playing defense.
“You want to move the ball up, and everyone plays every position on the field,” Jastremski said. “Our forwards aren’t just forwards, they play defense too. Our defense tries to penetrate forward and help things on offense. Overall we can play every aspect of the game at every position.”
With every player on the field being a scoring threat, the Bombers have played their way to a 3–0 first place start in the Empire 8 conference.
Freshman Jackie Rodabaugh said one of the reasons the Blue and Gold are scoring more goals is the “turn and go” mentality the forwards on the team are being encouraged to adopt during games.
“[Head Coach Mindy Quigg] wants us to turn and take on defenders one-on-one,” Rodabaugh said. “We should be there to finish all the balls that come in range of the goal, and we should take quick shots and finish them.”
Another area that has changed the Bombers’ approach on the field is their new 3-5-2 formation that they adopted at the start of the season. One of the keys in the formation is having three center midfielders, which Jastremski said allows her and other midfielders to make runs upfield.
“As an outside midfielder I have the responsibility of getting back on defense and then going forward,” she said. “I’m able to rely on the center midfielders to win the ball so that my first thought is to go forward.”
Rodabaugh said the outside midfielders play a large role in helping the Bombers create more goal-scoring opportunities.
“Our outside midfielders are taking the ball all the way down the field,” Rodabaugh said. “When it’s crossed in there’s usually someone there to try and finish the shot.”
While the new formation is helping the team create scoring opportunities, graduate student and midfielder Liz Masucci said the team will continue to look for new ways to score in every situation.
“In any formation that we would go into we would still find ways to make opportunities for ourselves and to create shots,” Masucci said. “I’d be confident that no matter what formation we were in we’d be creating just as many opportunities to score.”