After finishing last year with the first losing season in program history, the Ithaca College women’s soccer team is hoping to bounce back and have a successful season in its second year in the Liberty League Conference.
During the 2017 campaign, the women’s soccer team reached an overall record of 7–9 in its first season in the Liberty League. Even though the Blue and Gold just missed the playoffs, the Bombers won four of their last five games. Heading into the 2018 season, the South Hill squad is looking to improve its overall record with a season of Liberty League play under its belt.
Current senior midfielder Shoshana Bedrosian became the team’s leading scorer after steadily improving throughout her college career. Bedrosian scored six goals in her sophomore year and then eight goals last year to lead the team.
Bedrosian said she knows that last year’s learning experience will be vital for the team’s success in 2018.
“Last season taught us a lot about our new opponents in the Liberty League and who we are as a team,” Bedrosian said. “Although some of our results from games may not have been what we wanted, we focused on how we can fix the smaller problems together as a unit.”
Bedrosian, an All-Liberty League Honorable Mention selection in 2017, tied the college’s single game record for four goals and eight points last season against Wells College on Sept. 16. She said she will be looking to find the net early and often once again this year.
“This upcoming season, I’m really looking forward to getting better every single day with the Bombers and working with the team one last time,” Bedrosian said. “The group of women on our team are strong and are willing to battle anything that comes our way. I’m fortunate I get to be apart of such a special group of people and so excited for what’s to come.”
Head coach Mindy Quigg will be leading the Bombers in her 25th season. Quigg has an all-time record of 327–107–50 at the college and will be looking to lead the Bombers to a 20th playoff appearance in her tenure.
“At this point in the season we are focusing on our discipline as a group and getting familiar with one another’s strengths as we are a rather young group,” Quigg said. “Focusing on what we can control and doing the little things right to be predictable for one another. Defensively, we are emphasizing shape and offensively we are pressing higher and quicker while attacking with pace and numbers.”
Reid Garner, senior back and forward, has become a consistent piece in Quigg’s operation after three years on the team. Garner started in all but one of the Bombers’ 16 games last season, recording four points on one goal and two assists.
“Coach is great at understanding how each individual on the team needs to prepare before a game,” Garner said. “We are well-versed in what we are going to take on and what strengths we need to bring to the field. We watch a lot of film and focus the attention on what we can do to play our best.”
Among the offensive standouts last season was current sophomore midfielder and forward Alex Epifani. Last season, Epifani established her role on offense in the starting lineup, scoring a goal in two of the Bombers’ final four games and leading the team with five assists on the season.
“[It was a] quality first year for Alex,” Quigg said. “She is a talented player with great room to better her game. She has focused this summer on becoming more multidimensional as an attacker and challenging defenders at a more consistent pace.”
The South Hill squad will look to collectively keep that momentum going into this year as they are scheduled for an 18-game regular-season lineup in 2018. The team will first travel to New Jersey where it will play in the Cyclone Kickoff Classic hosted by Centenary University. The Cyclones and the Bombers have never played each other in program history.
The Bombers start the season with seven nonleague games, including a road trip to rival SUNY Cortland on Sept. 12. The team will not see its first Liberty League opponent until Sept. 22, when it will travel to take on Clarkson University.
Garner knows that this year’s team can’t get caught up in last season and instead, need to devote all its attention to the 2018 campaign.
“I think I played well last year, but this year brings new challenges and I’m excited to meet them,” Garner said. “This year I think we have some great personalities joining us, and it’s going to elevate the team. They’ve all been very clear that they’re ready to compete and take on the Bomber culture.”