The women’s soccer team scored the title of Turnaround Team of the Year at the 2016-2017 Jetspy awards, and this year they’ve proven that they plan to go nowhere but up. The lady Jets continue to pile on the victories this season. With some tough games ahead, the women have been busy at practice and in their personal time working to elevate their skills.
It is a goal for the team to make it to the conference tournament this season; it appears to be an attainable goal. Grace Linton, forward for the team, said “We have such a good chance this year to make these things happen. We are taking it one game at a time. That’s all you can really do. Focus in on the present and take care of business.” The team has six conference games left and they are ready to play.
With a record of 7-4-1 the team has been doing an astounding job on the field, a nice follow-up to the 2016 season, which Head Coach Aaron Avila said was a great building block for the team. “We finished with the first winning season in five years and set several program records. We have continued to build on last year’s success and our players keep gaining confidence with each week.”
Success thus far may have come not only due to rigorous training and hours of practice but because of the bond that the players have with each other and the appreciation they have for their school.
Amy Strath, center back, who joined the Jets in August as a transfer senior, said Newman caught her attention because she “was interested in being a part of a program that has great potential to achieve great things.” And this year they have done just that. She added, “The girls are amazing, I get along with everyone and they made me so welcome when I first arrived. … The girls are hard workers and I love that about a team.”
Quincy Plank, defender, has been playing soccer since she was 4 but wasn’t sure about a college career in the sport until she visited Newman. “What stood out to me was the friendly Newman environment and the sense of community within it.” She said her favorite part of the game here is her teammates.
Not only does the team get along with each other, which according to Plank is apparent when they rock karaoke on bus rides, but they all have such passion for the game.
Plank said she’s been playing for so long that the game has become a part of her. “I love playing for my teammates, being creative and the feeling of making something happen as a team.”
Linton said she’s had such passion for the game since she began playing at the age of 4. “I don’t think I could thoroughly explain the rush and happiness soccer gives me. I honestly doubt I will ever be able to live without it.” She went on to express her love for the team, the hard work that goes into every practice and game, and the challenges that push her to improve.
Strath said, “No matter my mood soccer always cheers me up.” She hopes to be a coach someday and enjoys being a mentor for the younger team members.
All agreed that the entire season is a standout moment. Every day they push themselves to get better and they continue to see results.
Avila said, “They believe they can beat any team in our conference. We play in a tough conference so that is easier said than done, but the belief is there and that will help the team moving forward.
“This could potentially be a special season for the team, but we still have to step out on the field and get results against our opponents. Only time will tell where we end up this year, but I am excited about the journey.”