Despite Last in Polls, Soccer Women Want to “Write the Future”
By Nicole Plucinski
The Hilbert Hawks Women’s Soccer Team says despite the fact they are ranked last in their conference this year, they are still looking to “write the future.”
The Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference released the 2016 Women’s Soccer Preseason poll on Aug. 4. In this poll, all of the coaches in the conference vote on how they feel teams will do in their upcoming season. When this poll comes out, every coach anxiously awaits to see their fate.
However, this year’s ranking really hits home for the Hilbert Hawks. “The fact that we were ranked 10th (last) in the preseason poll only says one thing and that it’s time, time for us to gain our respect in our conference,” said Head Coach Kelly Starchok.
Starchok believes that it is easy for the other coaches in the league to place Hilbert in tenth because Hilbert has not been in the playoffs since she took over in 2011.
“Our returners are a very solid, talented core, the best since I started. They are committed to change the perception to change the perception others seem to have of Hilbert. Our seniors want to go out on a high, and are tired of being ranked last too, so they are challenging the rest of the team to raise the level of play.”
Starchok said the team’s newcomers bring “Youth, experience, maturity, and grit.”
This season for the Hawks has a well-balanced non-conference schedule, that will prepare the Hawks for conference play beginning on Sept 24. The Hawks are looking to utilize the seven non-conference games to prepare the team to peak just in time as Conference begins, and to be discipline in their style of play with a solid defending block, strong attacking shape and set pieces.
Starchok picks a quote she likes to use for that playing season, and “Write the future” couldn’t be more fitting for the 2016 team. “With our opponents in the AMCC ranking us 10th, they’re trying to write the future for us, instead of the other teams writing our fate for us, we are going to take it into our own hands and write our own future and destiny as players and as a program as a whole.”