Aug 22, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. – The official kick off for the 2013 Northwestern women’s soccer season is almost here. To prepare fans for the upcoming season, head coach Michael Moynihan discusses a number of topics including this year’s captains, the freshman class and the progress he’s seen heading into his second year with the program.
Who are the captains for this year’s team?
“We have a couple of seniors in Nicole Jewell and Kate Allen and junior Jackie Alyinovich as our captains and all three of them have been leaders for us in different ways. Kate’s been our leading scorer for the last couple of years and is clearly an impact player for us. Jackie is somebody who has been a consistent presence on defense for us, I don’t know if she came off the field at all last year, and then Nicole Jewell as well has been a key contributor for us. All of them have good experience on the field and I think they are all players that the others look up to and respect. They walk the walk, they come prepared, they work hard and they’ve got the grit and determination that we’re looking for. I think there’s also a genuine passion for the game on their end and they are excellent role models across the board. They are off to a good start, leading this team in the right direction.”
How have the freshmen fit in so far?
“There’s always a learning curve for the freshmen. There are clearly some players in there that have a good level of talent and I think are going to contribute right away. Coming into the collegiate environment I think is a bit of an eye-opener for quite a few people no matter the level of experience they have coming in. It’s an intense environment, on a regular day-to-day basis, that I think some of them are just trying to get used to and figure out, but it looks like some of them are stepping up to the challenge. I expect a few of them to do a great job in terms of contributing right away. As far as chemistry, attitude, all of that, they’ve been fantastic, wonderful additions to our program.
How has the program progressed heading into your second season?
“I think we have come a long way in terms of how well people are prepared. There are quite a few people that I think have improved quite a bit and really put in a lot of good work in the offseason. I just told the team that we could put two good teams on the field for an inter-squad game and it’s a very competitive match. We didn’t have the ability to do that last year, which tells me we’ve added good depth and the players that have returned have put in a lot of work to raise their level of play.
“I’ve enjoyed seeing the progress that we’ve made. I think we’ve made a lot of progress in terms of belief in what they are capable of doing. I think they’ve made tremendous growth in understanding what’s necessary to achieve success at this level. There are lots of small victories and as we get into the season hopefully they come a little bit faster and more furiously and we have a good level of success. I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction and I like the commitment that the players have shown to the vision that we’ve shared with them.”
What are some important messages for the team with the season beginning this weekend?
“We are still relatively young. I think this year we have a little bit larger senior class but there’s still an awful lot of youth that is on the field and contributing a lot. I think we have to stay focused on getting better and better every day and as the season goes on, learning from our mistakes and moving forward. Up to this point, the learning curve this fall already has been fairly steep. They are progressing quickly and hopefully that can continue. We just have to stick with the work rate and the grit that’s required and I think the improvements will keep coming.”
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