W. Soccer wins late in thriller
Quality position battles are a good problem for a coach to have. That’s the mindset of Colby women’s soccer head coach Jennifer Holsten ’90 regarding her unique goalkeeper situation.
Jayde Bennett, a senior hailing from Lynn, Mass., was injured for the entirety of the 2011 season. In 2010, however, Bennett had displayed exceptional skill en route to a spot on the All-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) team.
Her competition is Emily Brook ’15, who stepped up in a major way as a first-year in Bennett’s absence, recording clean sheets in nearly half her games played while starting all year long. According to Athletics liaison William Sodoma, both will likely get significant playing time this season.
Goalkeeper is not the only position of strength for the Mules; however, experience runs deep throughout this team. Twenty-one of 26 players return from last year’s successful squad, highlighted by All-New England selection Alex Yorke ’14 as well as a large and talented sophomore class.
The 2011 team mirrored the men’s side, finishing the season at 7-7-1. Goals came at a premium, but the women made the most of them when they did score, winning seven games despite scoring just 15 goals. Home games came easy to the Mules, providing five of the seven wins and just two losses.
Despite road woes last year, however, Colby opened up the 2012 season very strongly. The team emerged victorious at Connecticut College by a score of 2-1.
Camels forward Lily Cannon opened up the scoring in the 26th minute, finding the net on an unassisted goal.
The Mules didn’t relent, however, carrying a strong effort into halftime. Brook played the first half in goal, making four quality saves while allowing the Connecticut College goal. Bennett then came in to play for the second half. In the 65th minute, captain Kate Laxson ’13 evened up the score, making good on one of her three shots in the game.
Bennett and the rest of the defense then continued to thwart the Camel attack, refusing to allow a second goal. The game looked as though it would end in a tie as the clock made its way up to a full 90 minutes.
However, with just over one minute remaining in the contest, junior forward and Maine native Crysti Tsuijiura scored to put the Mules up ahead by one. Tsuijiura got sparing playing time in her first two years at Colby, but made the most of an opening day start by scoring a clutch goal for her first collegiate tally. The Mules held on to the goal to finish with a very positive opening day result. Both Colby goals were unassisted.
Looking ahead, Colby takes on the University of New England and Middlebury College at home this week on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.