Caitlin Dorsch, Copy Desk Chief~
After reaching the Sweet Sixteen in last year’s NCAA tournament, the Lynchburg Women’s Soccer team is looking towards another Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship as well as a National Championship. In the annual conference preseason poll on August 21, Lynchburg Women’s Soccer was ranked first place with 163 points.
With most of the starting lineup from last year still on the roster and by adding strong freshmen into the mix, the women’s soccer team feels stronger than ever according to Senior Holding Midfielder/Captain Kara Rombough. She goes further on to say that one of the major things that makes this team such a nationally competitive team is their culture. This year, the team’s theme is “Ohana.”
Rombough said, “When a team has resilience, determination, and an extreme love for one another – they’ve got it all. I believe our theme from the season, Ohana, encompasses all of those. When you love your teammates like they’re your family, you will do just about anything for them. That love fuels you to complete that extra sprint when you think your legs can’t move. It motivates you to play your absolute best, not for yourself, but for the girl next to you. That love challenges you, but as Lynchburg Women’s Soccer players, we love a challenge and we love each other. With that, there’s no stopping this bond we’ve created. Ohana.”
Former defender and current assistant coach for the Hornets Natalie Deacon added, “In the Lynchburg Women’s Soccer program, our greatest strength is our culture. We place emphasis upon putting others before self and in developing strong relationships with one another. These relationships allow our players to find that little extra speed, strength, or will when the game is on the line. Ultimately, it is these inches that make us tough to beat come tournament time.”
The team attributes their success to their family dynamic. During the spring and summer many of the players train on Shellenberger field working on their first touch or shooting, or are in the Wake Fieldhouse lifting, or running up the Green Monster leading up to the Bell Tower. They are focused on achieving success together. Fifth-year forward and Captain Hannah Olds said, “Ohana means family, and there’s nothing more powerful than a group of 32 sisters fighting and battling together to achieve the same goal.”
As said by Rombough and Olds, the entire team believes that every player on the team is important and necessary for the team’s overall success. With every player giving their all in the off-season and in practices, Lynchburg Women’s Soccer will continue to be a Division III powerhouse.
Lynchburg Women’s Soccer continues their quest this weekend as they travel to the Sewanee Invitational in Sewanee, T.N., to play Emory on Saturday, September 15, at 3:30 p.m. and Sewanee on Sunday, September 16, at 12 p.m. Then, they return to play at home against St. Mary’s on Wednesday, September 19, at 5 p.m. Be sure to mark your calendars!