When asked about the women’s soccer team’s biggest struggle on the field this season, head coach Derek Leader brought it all down to one word – “winning.”
After 17 games, the team ended with an overall record of 4-11-2 and 1-8-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Coach Leader said part of the team’s negative record was the lack of fortune.
“I’m left with the fact that we lost six matches by one goal and we also had two ties,” Leader said. “With a little luck and better performances, the season could have been completely different.”
The Panthers’ competition ended on Oct. 24, when they fell to North Carolina at Wilmington for 3-0.
Their season began just like it ended as Georgia State started the game with losses against Auburn, Jacksonville State and Mississippi State – with only one victory against Kennesaw.
When things seemed to get better with back-to-back victories against Mercer and Georgia Southern that bettered their record to 3-3, the team had a 10-game run of seven losses, two ties and one sole win.
Leader said he is not happy with the team’s performance this season, yet he admitted that there are positive remains of the season.
“I’m encouraged with all the youngsters that were on the field gaining valuable playing time,” Leader said. “Several players have responded and played remarkably well. We will look for their guidance next year.”
Sophomore Whitney Ravan was one of the most influential players on the team. With four goals and three assists, the Whitewater, Colo. native played her best season so far.
Also, Leader said the team has made progress in relation to when he became coach in the spring.
“When we arrived in the spring, we had a team that trained to train and now we have a team that trains to compete,” Leader said.
Now, their next step is to start amassing victories.
“We have to create a team that trains to win,” Leader said.
For next season, one of the biggest upsets for the Panthers will be the departure of captain Carly Lafferty as she will be graduating this fall.
Lafferty has led the team since last season, where she only missed one game. This season, the midfielder missed two games and scored two goals.
The Panthers will get back on the field on spring.
Leader failed to answer questions regarding possible strategy or management changes for next year.