Marlins strive for new goals

GABE HIGGINS
Staff Writer

The men’s soccer team had an astounding year in the 2012 season, but fell just short of a cinderella finish in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tornament championship game.
109 minutes of the game had been played with a score of 0-0 on the scoreboard, and Roanoke stunned the Marlins by putting one in the back of the net with less than one minute to play.
Last year’s Marlins went into the conference tournament as a six seed in a tournament with eight teams.
In regular season play, they recorded eight wins, nine losses and two ties. Six of those wins were in conference play, and five of those losses were also to ODAC teams.
Not many people were expecting the VWC men’s soccer team to make it to the championship game of the conference tournament.
Things are different this year for the men’s soccer team. The team’s starters are all back in action. Everybody who played in the conference title game last year has returned this year and ready to roll.
“We’re going to do really well; we have the same team as last year, plus 10 freshmen,” said sophomore Joshua Kemp. “Josh McNamara is a captain, so there is really well balanced leadership, and he will be ready to lead next year as well.”
Kemp also said that their number one goal this year is to go the National Collegiate Athletic Assosciation (NCAA) tournament and win the ODAC championship.
The team has had a great start to lead them in the right direction; they kicked off the year with a 2-0 win over Wesley College and a 3-2 victory over Christopher Newport University. The win over CNU was huge for the Marlins.
“I’m relieved; it took us four years to beat them and we were able to get it done,” said senior Ryan Leslie.
This win is also a big confidence booster for the men.
“I feel like we can beat anyone we play,” said senior Chris Luce. “There is no doubt in my mind we can have an undefeated season.”
Goals are set high for the men’s soccer team, and they should be. The team feels as though it deserves another shot at the conference title after getting as far as it did last year, and all of that was achieved with a young team. This year’s team has the experience and the talent to accomplish their goals.
The women’s team had an impressive 2012 campaign, posting 18 wins, two losses and one tie last year, and they were ranked as high as number three in the nation. Despite a long, hard fought season, the women were knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the first round.
This year’s women’s soccer team also has high hopes. It is returning with many experienced players who feel like they deserved to go farther in the NCAA tournament last year. The women are back in full force and ready to prove where they belong this year.
“It’s going to be a good season,” said senior Erica Keil. “[W]e have talented new freshman and great returners who are ready to make an impact.”
The Marlin women have gotten off to a great start this season by posting two shutouts, one of which was a tie against
Meredith College and the other was a 1-0 victory over Fredonia State.
“Those wins were huge for us,” said Keil. “They were big confidence boosters because they were both shutouts, and it was great for the freshman to experience.”
There may be some doubts coming from outsiders because the women are not returning with last year’s ODAC player of the year, Krista Whitmore.
“It’s not possible to replace a Krista Whitmore,” said Keil. “She was a huge part of our team last year, but Angel Horowitz and Allie Ketzler have done an amazing job of stepping up for us this year in the back.”
The women have great confidence in each other, and are excited about doing even better this year. With a young group of 12 freshmen, the team is ready to develop and have a great season.

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