Last season, UT’s women’s soccer team ended on a strong note as runner-ups of the SSC Tournament with an overall record of 13-4-4. The team has received copious amounts of recognition as three players were chosen for the All-Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Women’s Soccer team and the NCSAA All-Region Team and two players receiving All American statuses.
Since then, the team has undergone a significant redesign as it adds nine incoming freshmen, two transfers, and new head coach in Erin Switalski.
“We had to adjust to a lot at the beginning,” said sophomore defender Miranda Gonzalez. “Erin has been awesome from the very start and pushed us very hard this preseason and really prepared us to come into the season strong.”
With influx of new faces, the girls have still remained a close-knit group that is willing to work hard to adjust to the new set of skills and the introductions of differing talents. Already, the team is seeing promising talents from the transfers, who they believe will complement the team’s powerful offense.
The transfers include midfielder Nastasia Asgedom and forward Gabby Scirica.
Scirica previously attended Towson University and finished the second highest scorer on her team. The team is looking to her as a strong forward presence after losing forwards Gabby Russo and Jenny Karl to graduation. Asgedom arrives from University of Central Florida, where she redshirted for her first year. Her freshman eligibility gives her a possible four years to serve as a talented forward for the Spartans.
“There has been a lot of changes coming into this season but I believe we have a very strong, close knit group of girls that are willing to word so hard for one another,” Gonzalez said. “Adding [Scirica and Asgedom] to the mix with returning seniors Cici Gonzalez and Lauren Moore, I think we will be very strong up top and should be able to finish teams early.”
Like all incoming freshman student-athletes, the struggle is in finding a balance between school, sport, and social life. While it is easy to feel overwhelmed, the new players are ambitious about the upcoming season .
“I have very high expectations for the team this season. We have been
training diligently and continue to be focused on our goal,” freshman forward Maya Matouk said. “With the tremendous work we have been putting in since preseason started we are already more conditioned and prepared and will continue to work towards being in top shape. It’s one step at a time and I believe we have what it
takes to get to the finals.”
The team’s goal this season is to become NCAA champions. To achieve this, the team must persevere throughout the season to win throughout the conference and regional tournaments, and they will take advantage of the tremendous amount of added talent that they received to do so.
“To be unbeatable we need to continue what we are doing presently and bring our level of play up even a little every day,” Matouk said. “With sacrifice and dedication to work hard every single day we will accomplish our goal.”