Looking for better results in 2016
CSM women’s soccer has good blend of players under first-year head coach
Like the school’s men’s soccer program, the College of Southern Maryland women’s soccer team will play its 2016 slate under a firstyear head coach, but the young ladies who arrived for the team’s media day on Wednesday remained optimistic about the fall slate.
Hawks first-year coach Barry McGrellis could not attend Wednesday’s session for a more pending issue — his wife, Katie, was expecting their first child. When reached by phone later on Wednesday evening, McGrellis admitted that his wife still had not given birth to their first child but he had ample time to speak about the Hawks.
“I think a lot of people might look at this as a rebuilding season for us,” McGrellis said, “but really I think we kept the
sophomores that we wanted and we were able to find some gems among the freshmen in the small window of time that we had to recruit. It’s a smart group of girls that picks up technical things quickly. You can tell soccer was their first sport growing up.”
McGrellis, who honed his skills on the pitch in Scotland as a youngster and later coached in the United Kingdom before making it across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States six years ago, remains optimistic that this year’s team can improve on its 4-3 league record of one year ago.
“I think last year’s team was probably two games better than what their record showed,” McGrellis said. “So, we always want to make things fun for the girls. They’ve been a great group right from the beginning. They learn quickly and they enjoy being around one another. It carries over into how they play together on the field and that’s a good thing.”
CSM sophomore Tara Miller, a La Plata High School graduate from La Plata, hobbled into and out of the college’s gymnasium conference room on crutches and brandishing a cloth wrapping on her left knee. Miller is expecting to get the results of a recent MRI on the knee later this week, but she remained optimistic throughout the media day session.
“It’s really been a great preseason,” Miller said. “We have a good mix of returning players and incoming freshmen who are going to help us. We definitely have more chemistry than we did last year. My freshman year was a great learning experience. You get to see how much the intensity and skill level goes up when you get to college.”
Freshman Jazmin Summers, a Chopticon High School graduate and Mechanicsville resident who plays for the St. Mary’s Soccer U-18 squad, has already had to make a slight adjustment upon joining the Hawks. Summers has been accustomed to being the goalkeeper for her high school in club team, but this year she will start the season as an outside midfielder.
“Right from the first day, you could see that everything moves faster and you have to have a higher soccer I.Q.,” Summers said, “but [McGrellis] has really been pushing us on conditioning and the girls are great. We have all gotten along really well right from the first day. There’s more chemistry here than I thought we would have.”
College Of Southern Maryland sophomore Julia Lesko, a McDonough High School graduate, looks for an open teammate during a recent Hawks practice as fellow players Elizabeth Schwenk, a Northern High School pictured at left, and Danielle Bowling, a La Plata High School graduate pictured at right, provide some pressure.