Women’s soccer makes huge strides

November 6, 2013

Womens soccerBy almost any measure, the PHCC women’s soccer team made incredible progress in the 2013-14 season.

Coming off the program’s inaugural campaign, which saw the Lady Patriots go winless, PHCC won seven games, achieved a No. 19 national ranking and won the first playoff game in program history this year.

“When you look at that, that’s huge. Those are big strides within a year,” said head coach Larry Wylie. “Two things I think really accounted for that: No. 1 the sophomores that returned worked in the offseason, worked in the summer and got better. And No. 2: We were able to get some quality freshmen in who supported the sophomores.”

The Lady Patriots were paced in scoring by freshman Larissa Ayo, who scored eight goals to go along with eight assists. But Wylie said the heart and soul of this team rested in the roster’s seven sophomores: Brooke Southall, Taylor Nious, Ashley Lazo, Sha’Quayla Davis, April Garcia, Victoria McClurg and Haley Overstreet.”

“We’re trying to build the program the best we can. I hate to see the sophomore class go, I really do. They took a lot of grief last year and went through a very tough season but it paid off this year,” he said. “I think it was kind of a validation for that group that started the program last year. And I also think it impressed upon the freshmen that this is not club ball, this is a college soccer team. There are gonna be big wins, there are gonna be bad losses. At the end of the day, it’s about getting better.”

In addition, the Lady Patriots were very close to several more wins, dropping three games by just one goal apiece.

Thanks to this year’s success, Wylie is already seeing signs that his returners are ready to take yet another step next season.

“The freshmen have seen that you have to be strong when you go up against these sophomores and older players from four-year schools,” he said.

The future does look bright for the program. The team’s top four scorers, Ayo, Brittany Boitnott Sarah Draper and Taylor Flick, are each rising sophomores.

“Our season ended on a Saturday and (the freshmen) were getting in touch with me on Tuesday asking when the offseason weight program will start,” said Wylie. “They’re ready to work now.”

Filed under: Women's Soccer