Today: Apr 21, 2024

Women’s soccer goalie embraces one more season

Sean Meenaghan — Photo Editor
Graduate goaltender Jacquelyn Fede has broken numerous records in her short time at Southern.

PAULA CAPUTOStaff Writer

In her first and only season as the Owls women’s soccer goaltender, graduate student Jacquelyn Fede has already managed to earn women’s athlete of the month, set a record for most shutouts in a season for the women’s soccer program and became the only Owl this season to be ranked within the top 25 in the country for individual statistics.

“In my last season of eligibility,” Fede said, “it’s nice to realize that all the work that I’ve put in over the years into soccer, all of the hours, sweat, tears, everything has paid off and made me a very well-rounded soccer player.”

Fede attended Cheshire High School, where she became the first player to make All-Conference for four consecutive years. She was three-time All-State, All-New England pick and four-time All-Area selection. Fede also set a school record for most career shutouts, most shutouts in a season, lowest goals against average for career and lowest goals against average in a single season. Her outstanding goaltending helped guide Cheshire to two state championships, three conference championships, and four division titles.

After high school, Fede went on to play for the University of Rhode Island, where she spent her first season hurt, but then quickly picked up right where she left off. In 2007, she was ranked fourth in the Atlantic-10 Conference with 91 saves and third in the league with seven shutouts. Fede knew she wanted to come to Southern for graduate school and major in psychology, but was unsure whether she wanted to finish out her eligibility for soccer. Fede said she knew going into the season that she would hold high expectations for herself.

“I never want to get scored on,” Fede said. “Obviously I have to go into every game thinking this team is not scoring on me, no way. Having only seven goals against for a season is very good and I am kind of honored by it to know that my defense would play that hard for me.”

With a record-setting 12 shutouts so far this season, eight alone in the month of September, the Owls would not be where they are today without Fede, according to teammate Jenna Mallico.

“Jackie is a major asset,” Mallico said. “Jackie has gotten us out of some serious, sticky situations on the field, coming up big with saves I didn’t even know were savable. She has such a major impact on the field and is always behind us supporting us, leading us and simply saving us during the game.”

Mallico said Fede is a leader, who motivates the team and her drive and character are influential.

“Jackie is so successful because of her work ethic, natural talent, determination and skill,” Mallico said. “I’ve never seen anyone train harder than she does. She demands the best out of herself and it’s inspiring to see. She has such a modest attitude for such an awesome player and that’s something that I truly respect.”

Mallico also said she is not surprised by Fede’s accomplishments this season.

“I have known Jackie for quite some time,” Mallico said. “I always knew Jackie was special and had some serious talent and would have major success wherever she is playing—on and off the field.”

Head women’s soccer coach, Adam Cohen, said Fede is an all-around gifted athlete and she has an outstanding bond with her team.

“She communicates so clearly and effortlessly with her teammates and coaching staff,” Cohen said. “She’s really been a great ambassador for the program.”

Cohen said that on the field Fede is fearless, athletic and has outstanding hands; off the field, she has a special way of making people feel comfortable and her teammates really want to play for her.

“You want to have someone like Jackie reach her potential and I think the sky’s the limit,” Cohen said. “You don’t have to push her because she does it herself.”

Currently the Owls are ranked second in Division II in shutout percentage, 11th in goals against average, and 16th in save percentage. Fede is ranked 14th in goals against and 19th in save percentage. With a record of 10-4-2, the Owls are seventh in the Eastern Regional Poll.

Fede said that this season’s success is all due to teamwork. She said the team is very organized and willing to put in the work that it takes to get the results they want for themselves. According to Fede, quality coaching allows them to go into every game knowing a little bit of what to expect from the opponent.

With their last few games being losses, Fede said there’s no time to dwell.

“With the nature of our schedule, our games are all two or three days apart,” Fede said. “There’s really no time to feel bad for ourselves. We have seen the kind of success we could have when we work hard, so I think we knew it’s just a matter of forgetting about the games, learning from them and moving on.”

Cohen said the only word to describe Fede is inspirational.

“She has a very easy way about herself,” Cohen said. “She trains and plays with an extreme intensity, but instead of pushing people from behind, she kind of pulls people with her. She inspires other people to greater heights because of what she does as an example.”

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