Photo courtesy of www.wcupagoldenrams.com.
Last season, the West Chester University Women’s Soccer team finished fourth in their division.
A large part of their success came from the endeavors of then-junior Madison Baxter (9G, 5A; #23). Now a senior and a captain, she hopes to one-up her stats from last season and, in doing so, lead the team to new heights.
“I’m looking to score more goals than I did last season,” said Baxter. “I want to win as many games as we can, and I’m going to do everything I can to get us there.”
Baxter is already well on her way in that undertaking, scoring a goal in the team’s first game of the season against Holy Family, which they won 4-0. Olivia Muha (3G in 2018; junior, #12) and Hannah Zach (2G in 2018; junior, #13) added the other three goals in the team’s trouncing of HFU. Zach recorded two of them, leading the team’s coach, Betty Ann Kempf Townsley, to deem her the “Zach Attack.”
Entering her 13th season as head coach, Kempf Townsley is excited about the 2019 season. Despite being a fairly young team (11 of their 35 players are freshmen), she is optimistic about their potential.
“Oh, everyone’s excited,” said Coach Kempf Townsley. “When you start something like this, your adrenaline gets going.”
There’s a lot to be excited about. When asked what the most exciting things is about watching and coaching this team, Coach Kempf Townsley said, “The energy with which they play. There’s not just one standout player, they all play the game together.”
That excitement is tempered by a gritty, resolute drive to outperform the team’s last season. “I don’t think we accomplished what our potential was,” Coach Kempf Townsley said, reflecting on the previous year. “We had a lot of injuries, and that messed with our team chemistry.”
Baxter’s co-captain, Jenny Bail (3G, 2A in 2018; junior, #29) is also looking forward to the season. She hopes to share her experience with the younger players on the team and help lead them in a successful campaign.
“I want to perform better as a team,” said Bail. “We’ve all played soccer most of our lives and it’s crazy that this is the one time we’ll all be playing together. I want to make the most of it.”
When asked about the most exciting part of the coming season, both Baxter and Bail expressed the same motivation – it’s their last season, and they have nothing to lose, so they’re going to leave it all out on the field.
This attitude echoes a sentiment Coach Kempf Townsley shared of the team: “These girls hate to lose.”
The team won their first game against Holy Family University. Their next game is Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 2 P.M. at Rockwell Field. For the rest of the teams schedule, visit the Athletics section of West Chester University’s website.
Kyle Gombosi is a student at West Chester University. KG806059@wcupa.edu
Julia Vignali is a student at West Chester University. JV876032@wcupa.edu