BC women’s soccer seeks increased confidence

By Katerina Emmons, Blackburn College Sports Information
First year Blackburn College women’s soccer coach, Tim Gould,  is excited to begin the 2013 campaign despite having a roster not as large as he would like. With a smaller roster due to the loss of graduates and potential returners, the fifteen- woman roster will be given the opportunity to really improve their individual skill set. Gould stated, “Having a small number on the roster presents some limitations in regards to our ability to scrimmage full field at practice. Instead, we will be playing a lot of small sided games where all of our players are involved in a smaller space. This is helpful because every player will be earning more touches on the ball and increasing their confidence with the ball at their foot.”

Gould has been working vigorously with this new team to prepare them for their exhibition opener on August 26 at Lincoln College. The team will have the players playing different positions as this is part of Gould’s strategy to find where the new players work best on the field, while also shifting some returning players into new positions they will excel in. When asked what his style of coaching was, Gould remarked, “I believe that fundamental skills need to be practiced on a daily basis. Soccer players can gain a high level of fitness through drills and small sided games. We will work hard to develop and improve technique as the season progresses.”

After a few days of practice, Gould feels confident he has placed the players in positions they will advance in. The forwards for this year look to Carlinville High School products, Alexis Richie, Nique Byots, Jourdin McFarland, Rachel Hart and Katerina Emmons. Playing midfield, look for Allison Guerra of Elsah and Mary Chamberlain of Johnsburg. Defending players are Christy Hobbs of Highland, Emma Witte of Festus, Mo., and Chelsea McMillian of Bethalto. Tending the goal are Shana Sewick of Belvidere and Jordan Parker of Waterloo.

Even though the Blackburn College women’s soccer team roster size is not large, they are determined to play their hardest out on the field in hopes of having a winning season. “My expectation is that our team will develop a positive chemistry that will allow us to perform at a more consistent rate on the field. We are capable of earning a spot in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference post season tournament, but it will require all of our players to push one another and compete while also maintaining positive relationships,” Gould stated.

The team will be traveling to Iowa to play Grinnell and Coe Colleges to open the regular season on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Their first home game of the season will be against Robert Morris – Springfield Saturday, Sept. 7.