By Rachel Clarey
The athletes of the Union College Women’s Soccer team have definitely started their season off on the right foot. The team currently boasts a 6-1 record, and it’s continuing to dominate on the field.
An ambitious first-year class paired with many experienced upperclassmen athletes has proven to be too much for the team’s opponents.
Coach Brian Speck, one of the most decorated coaches on the Union campus, said that what makes this team most stand out from past teams he has coached is the quality of upperclassmen leadership.
Often, first-years feel intimidated when they first begin playing a sport at the college level but, on this team, the newer players are encouraged to play at ease.
“The seniors make the freshmen feel comfortable,” said Speck. “Everyone wants the best for the team.”
This approach seems to be working well, as two of the team’s leading scorers, Katie Monahan ’18 and Emily Dahlstrom ’18, each with two goals so far this season, are first-years.
Coach Speck also noted that the solid work ethics and positive attitudes of the upperclassmen have trickled down to the first-years. According to Speck, “Everyone is working hard.”
On the technical side, the team is very defensively inclined.
“We have a strong defense,” said Speck, “Everybody on the field has defensive responsibilities.”
A vital component of the defense is goalkeeper Allison Brustowicz ’15.
Brustowicz has been a force to reckon with in the net for the Dutchwomen so far this season. She has already had four shut-outs and only three goals scored against her.
On top of that, Brustowicz was named the Corvias ECAC Division III Upstate Defensive Player of the Week and Liberty League Defensive Performer of the Week for the week of September 10.
Her teammates, Stacey Sylvetsky ’15 and Aly Leahy ’18, also received recognition from the Liberty League. Sylvetsky was named Offensive Performer of the Week and Leahy was named Rookie of the Week.
The one thing the team needs to improve on, according to Speck, is their ability to finish and score goals.
“We want to be able to get a goal before the last five minutes of the game,” said Speck.
With so much success this early in the season, the possibilities for this team are endless. On the other hand, having such a good record puts a target on the team’s back; each future competitor will want to destroy the team’s record.
However, with such a cohesive group of new and old, doing so won’t be an easy feat for future opponents.
The girls play September 27 at College Park against Bard before heading up north on October 3 and 4 to play St. Lawrence and Clarkson.