The University’s women’s soccer team began its quest for another dominant season.
According to the Landmark Conference poll, a back-to-back championship victory is in store for the Royals as Scranton received six first-place votes and finished with 68 points in the poll, ranking them in the first spot.
The Lady Royals return four Landmark Conference honorees including First-Team and Co-Offensive Player of the Year Jamie Hreniuk, First-Team player Brittany Urricchio, and Second-Team players Erica Licari and Taylor Stevens. Landmark Championship MVP Hannah DeMars also returns to the squad. Coming off their 20th conference title in 34 seasons, the Royals are prepared to claim the throne once again.
“I think it’s a mix of pressure and power. We definitely feel the pressure to do well again, but since we had such a successful season last year, we know what we are capable of doing as a team and I’m excited to see how we do this year,” junior goalkeeper Colleen Berry said.
Hreniuk agreed that it is comforting having past success, but noted the importance of not trying to live in the past.
“It will definitely be a challenge to live up to that, but we’re all working our hardest to come out with a great outcome. It is great to look back and reflect on, but we are a different team this and should definitely keep our focus on having a great season this year,” Hreniuk said.
Hreniuk emphasized the team’s competing level and work ethic as strong suits.
“I think one thing we all have in common is that we are willing to put in everything we’ve got in order to succeed,” Hreinuk said.
According to Berry, the squad’s depth, versatility and compatibility are some of their greatest strengths.
“We have a lot of players that can play in many positions which helps us stay strong throughout the entire game. In the few scrimmages we had, we all worked really well together and were very supportive of each other whether someone was on the field or the bench,” Berry said. “Everyone has been getting along really well this year and we always have a good time at practice.”
This positive team and practice environment is key to the team bringing success to each and every contest.
“We definitely need to work hard in every single practice throughout the whole season so that we play to the best of our abilities during each game,” Berry said.
The women’s soccer team has worked to a high level of success over the years, and the hard work has brought them more together than ever before.
“We’re a really close group of friends, one big family,” Hreniuk said.
This big family looks to take the Landmark Conference by storm once again. While conference play does not begin until Sept. 30, the Lady Royals have a handful of games in the meantime to help them prepare to chase that title.