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Women’s soccer is prepared to begin conference matches

by Emily Kaufman

    The women’s soccer team has high expectations as players begin the nine conference games this season that will determine their place in postseason competition.  The team began the season playing high-caliber teams in non-conference matches, ending with a winning record of 5-4.
    Jules Viviano, senior defenseman and co-captain, is excited and confident to begin conference play.
    “I think we’re a better team across the board than we were last year at this time. We did a lot better at non-conference games playing against some good competition. The teams that steam rolled us last year in non-conference we shut out, and we played well, so we definitely have high expectations starting our conference games,” she said.
    With 13 new players—10 freshmen and three transfer students—leadership will be an important factor as the MAAC contests begin. Captain for a second year, Viviano is prepared for the challenge.
    “My personal goals are, as a captain, to be a leader on the field and off because that’s the nature of the role that I’m in—to be an example and set the tone for the new players,” said Viviano.
    With such a young team, there are some challenges to overcome, particularly transitioning from high school to college matches and non-conference to conference play.
    “For the 10 freshmen, it’s a different game and going from non-conference to conference—that’s a big transition, too. Now all of a sudden we have nine games and those nine games are going to determine our post-season. As a captain, I need to make sure the girls understand the switch from non-conference to conference play,” she said.
   Viviano is an experienced captain who underwent a challenging transition herself last season when she accepted her leadership position. “My coach needed a junior captain and that’s a hard transition: going from being someone who is just another part of the team to someone that people are looking up to.”
   This season, Viviano captains the team alongside junior defenseman Danielle Kennedy. For the young team, having a captain with two years of leadership is extremely beneficial. Not only does the captain gain more respect and influence but she also serves to maintain a continuity that strengthens team unity.
   So far, the team is capitalizing on strong leadership and an overall determination to succeed, winning its first conference game Friday night, 3-2 against the Siena Saints.     Kennedy scored the winning goal for the Purple Eagles and freshman Haillie Price scored her first and second collegiate goals.
   Support the Purple Eagles at home as they take on the Manhattan Jaspers at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12.

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