Coming off of a successful season, the Swarthmore women’s soccer team looks to the Centennial Conference tournament this weekend, where they will hopefully win another conference championship. The team’s current record of 7-1-2 in conference play puts them in second place in the conference, trailing only Johns Hopkins. The 2018 season has been one of the strongest years in program history. They have been ranked in the United Soccer Coaches DIII women’s soccer poll as one of the top 25 teams in the nation throughout the season, ranking as high as No.12 in early September. They currently are ranked No. 21 following the completion of their regular season play.
Women’s soccer’s overall record is 13-2-2 and their statistics from the season show just how well the players have fared. They have scored more than four-and-a-half times as many goals than their opponents, scoring an average of two goals per game. They have almost five times as many assists as their opponents this year and have had 101 corner kicks compared to their opponents’ 28. These statistics show just how offensively dominant this year’s team has been. Having a strong offense has always been a key part of their success and their ability to maintain possession of the ball throughout the entirety of the game has enabled soccer to continue having winning seasons, which they have achieved every year since 2006.
Last year, Swarthmore women’s soccer had a record in conference of 7-2-1, losing to both Johns Hopkins and McDaniel during regular season play. They made it to the conference championship and ultimately beat out Johns Hopkins in a shootout following a 2-2 tie. After winning the conference championship, the team headed into the NCAA tournament, where they won the first game against Susquehanna University in two overtimes and lost their next game to William Smith College, which was ranked No. 3 in the country at that time. Even after such a successful past year, Swarthmore women’s soccer team came out strong in the 2018 season, not losing a game for their first 11 matches. With a very similar record to last year, it looks like Swarthmore might face Johns Hopkins again in the championship this year, and could hopefully win another Centennial Conference Championship.
One of the senior captains, Yasmeen Namazie, gave some insight on how her team is preparing for their playoff run in the upcoming week.
“To prepare for playoffs, we are continuing to improve our progressions up the field tactically, and technically we are managing our bodies both mentally and physically,” Namazie said.
The soccer team recently celebrated their five seniors last Saturday in their final game of the regular season against Haverford. These five players have had major impacts on the program for the last four years. All five of them have started in at least 14 out of the team’s 17 games this season. Senior forward Marin McCoy holds five of the school’s career and single-season records, including career points, career goals, career assists, single-season points, and goals. Goalie Amy Shmoys is currently ranked fifth in all-time career shutouts for any goalie at Swarthmore College. Defender Melissa Curran has greatly contributed defensively, earning all-conference awards both her freshman and sophomore year. Caroline Coats, another defender, has also impacted Swarthmore defensive ability and earned an All-Conference award her sophomore year. Defender Yasmeen Namazie has been an essential player all four years but last year she received five awards following the 2017 season including Centennial Academic Honor Roll, Academic All-Centennial, United Soccer Coaches All-Mid-Atlantic First Team, All-Centennial Conference First Team and Philadelphia Inquirer’s Academic All-Area Team.
Junior Maddy Carens shared her opinion on how these five seniors have shaped Swarthmore women’s soccer program.
“Our seniors have impacted our program in so many aspects. They have elevated the level of soccer to make us a nationally ranked team and have therefore raised the bar of excellence that we now strive for as a team. They have also lead by example, on and off the field, pushing each of us to work as hard as they do, which has had an immeasurable impact on our success of the field and our positive and supportive team culture,” Carens said.
Swarthmore women’s soccer, led by their five talented seniors, look to finish out their season just as strong as last year and get even further into the NCAA tournament. The Centennial Conference tournament begins this weekend at Johns Hopkins. Swarthmore plays McDaniel on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. If they win that game they move on to play in the Centennial Conference championship at 1 p.m. on Sunday.