By JOE COLUCCIO, staff reporter
The Central women’s soccer team is bleeding confidence. A late season formation change, coupled with a strong tournament showing this spring, have the Wildcats eager to start the season.
“We are going to be asking for a lot from the girls we have coming in,” coach Michael Farrand said. “We’ll also be asking a lot out of the girls we have coming back, but they’re all great girls and we have confidence they can get the job done.”
Central signed 14 recruits for the 2013 season, a majority of which are defenders and midfielders.
The Wildcats are riding on momentum, which began at the end of last season with a 5-0 beat down of conference rival Simon Fraser in the season finale. The game had marked the highest margin of victory for Central this past season, and the offensive outburst can be attributed to a late season formation change.
“We went from a 3-5-2 flat to a 4-5-1 towards the end of the season, and we really liked how we looked in our last few games against Saint Martin’s, Western Washington and Simon Fraser,” Farrand said.
The Wildcats have gained more confidence in the new formation, which aims to provide more offensive opportunities.
The Wildcats will have to find a way to replace senior Carson McKole, who led the team in multiple categories, including scoring and shots on goal. Lightening the load for the Wildcats will be junior defender Tarah Duty.
Duty earned GNAC First-Team All-Conference honors after starting all 18 games last season, and is poised for a big senior season.
“Duty is probably the best outside defender in the west region,” Farrand said. “Our new formation will allow her to play up and be more involved with the offense. She is going to force teams to have to keep up with her, and I’m not sure they will be able to.”
Duty, along with sophomore midfielder Savanna Moorehouse and freshman midfielder Reilly Retz, who also earned second-team all-conference and honorable mention honors, respectively, were named team captains and Duty hopes to make the most of her responsibilities.
“I really want to bring leadership to my team,” Duty said. “I think that we have a good core group of girls right now and I want the team to work well together on and off the field.”
The Wildcats boast a recruiting class featuring 14 new signees for the 2013 season, whom the coaching staff expect to make team practices more competitive.
“Traditionally we perform as a team better when we have a younger squad, because we compete against ourselves at such a high level,” Farrand said.
The Wildcats are a confident bunch after their successful spring showing.
“We have high expectations,” Duty said. “Our goal is to win a GNAC Championship.”