Women’s soccer focuses on defense early in year
With the season opening game on Sept. 6 against The University of Bridgeport, the players and head coach Adam Cohen are pushing themselves towards success.
Cohen has been with the Southern women’s soccer team since 2003 and has coached the team to numerous victories since joining.
The women’s soccer season is very fast paced. Between September to mid-November, the women play 18 games against various schools in the NE10.
The team must work very hard for their goal of winning the NE10 championship, but their coach is confident in them.
“I think that this team, right now, is a perfect picture of its evolution because you have a great group of upper classman, seniors and grad students,” said Cohen. “Some of the players on our team have been student athletes at Southern for 5 years.”
One such student athlete is Paula Nunez, a graduate student studying school counseling who is a native of Basque Country in Spain. Nunez completed her undergraduate degree in Spain and the coaches said she has been on their radar of the coaches at Southern for three years prior to her arrival in The United States.
Nunez is a defender on the team and has been playing soccer since she was very little. Although, Nunez believes she has been playing for so long, there is always room for improvement.
“Well, I’d like to improve [from] last season, personal-wise and also, like, as a team. I would love to help my team as much as I can. I enjoy doing that so much,” said Nunez.
Last season, the Owls capped off their season with a record of 9-10 and finished with a record of 8-6 in the NE10 conference games.
The Owls 2018-2019 season ended in the first round of the NE10 tournament, where they faced off against Penman University, ultimately losing 2-1.
With last year’s defeat fresh in their minds, the Owls have been pushing themselves during the off season in preparation for the fall.
“We won all our scrimmages in the spring and our first scrimmages now, so we’re off to a really good start,” said defender Kelly Lamb, a senior who has played for the team all four years that she has attended Southern.
In recent years, the team has won ten plus games in each of the four previous seasons under the coaching of Cohen. The Owls have won 105 matches in total throughout the 14 seasons he’s been coaching.
The team’s philosophy seems to be that the best offense is a good defense, and with Nunez and Lamb backing up the defense, the team has been off to a good start.
Most recently, the team started their season beating the defending national champions, Bridgeport University 1-0. They then carried on their success by beating Saint Thomas Aquinas College 2-0 on Sept. 8.
After one more game on the road against NE10 match-up Franklin Pierce on Sept. 14, the team comes home for two consecutive games at Jess Dow Field against Adelphi and Bentley on Sept. 18 and Sept. 21, respectively.