Updated Fri, Sep 13, 2013 5:16 pm
The 2013 Marietta Women’s Soccer team has only played four regular season matches, but the squad has continued to improve in almost every aspect as compared to this point last season.
Coach Tracy Blasius’s 2013 squad has scored more goals (six this season compared to three last season), allowed fewer scores (16-6), earned more corner kicks (18-6), and taken more shots (46-16) among other categories.
The Pioneers have a long way to go before the 2013 season is over as their schedule becomes more cluttered. Marietta’s overall fitness level will be tested as the Pioneers kick off three times next week.
Their first two opponents come from outside of the state of Ohio as Marietta welcomes Centre College (Ky.) and Washington and Jefferson College (Pa.) to town.
Marietta faced and lost to both teams in 2012, falling to Centre 7-0 and Washington and Jefferson 4-1.
The Pioneers then load up the buses on Saturday as they head to northern Ohio to face Oberlin College.
Next week will be the only time this season when the Pioneers play three matches in a week, Sunday to Saturday, making next week their busiest of the season.
Centre College (4-1, 0-0), Sunday, Sept. 15, 1 p.m. at Marietta Field
Though the Colonels have only played five matches, their offense will give Marietta plenty to handle. Coach Jay Hoffman’s squad has netted nine goals and averaged a whopping 19 shots per contest.
As if those numbers aren’t enough, it will be difficult to predict from where Centre’s offensive productivity will originate. Centre’s nine goals have come off the feet of five different players. An additional three players chalked up assists on four of the team’s goals.
On the defensive front, freshmen goalkeepers Olivia Alford and Holly Hilton have had a quiet season between the pipes. Between the two of them, only three shots have reached the back of the net, but they have only had to make saves on 17 shots all season.
The Colonels may come into Sunday’s game with some sore legs. Centre kicks off against Cleveland-area John Carroll just 23 hours before they face the Pioneers.
Washington and Jefferson College (0-4, 0-0), Wednesday, Sept. 18, 4 p.m. at Marietta Field
While Washington and Jefferson brings a winless record, three of its four losses came by one goal. With that being said, the Presidents’ offense has been somewhat lethargic thus far. They have only netted two goals and earned eleven corner kicks through four matches.
A portion of their struggles can be attributed to the team’s first half performances. The team has been outscored 7-1 in the first half along with being outshot 30-8.
The Presidents have shown improvement after a quick breather, only allowing one second half goal all season and outshooting teams 21-19.
Senior Holly Shipley leads the team in points, nine, and is part of an offensive attack that has only been caught offside once.
Oberlin College (2-3, 0-0), Saturday, Sept. 21, 2 p.m. at Shults Field
The 2013 season has seen big wins and even bigger loses for the Yeowomen. In their two victories, they outscored opponents 8-0. In their losses, they were outscored 10-0.
Oberlin’s Sept. 12 matchup against Case Western was cancelled in the 59th minute due to lightning, but the Yeowomen were down 4-1 when the match was called.
Despite the big losses, the 2013 squad has already won twice as many games and has scored one more goal than the 2012 squad. Much of the turnaround can be attributed to the efforts of junior Abby Weiss. The Oberlin native has scored three goals, taken twelve shots and even recorded an assist.
Oberlin outshot their opponents 50-3 in their two victories. It will be a matter of which Oberlin squad Marietta faces next Saturday.