Managing Executive Editor
After ten seniors graduated from the roster last year, the Keene State College women’s soccer team now faces the 2018 season with 12 incoming first-years.
With such a young team, the team dynamic has changed, said junior and captain Nicole De Almeida.
“It’s definitely different having a younger team this year, because in the past, we’ve had such a large group of upperclassman, so there was a lot of players with experience on the team,” Almeida said.
The captain said that although there may not be as much experience, there is still a lot of opportunities for growth and learning. “We are a young team and have a lot of time left together. It changes the dynamic where we are a little quieter than past years, but it all comes with time. With so many new players we are still getting to know each other, both as players and as people,” Almeida added.
There are five juniors and only three seniors currently on the women’s soccer team, which means setting a good example is vital to success, said Almeida. “We try to always be the leaders on and off the field, and help the young players by helping them on the field,” Almeida said.
The junior added that explaining how to change something when a player makes a mistake, as well as answering questions, creates a firm foundation for communication throughout the entire team.
Almeida also said that having a younger team is an advantage because there is more time to learn and change the dynamics of how the team performs on the field. “Young players can bring a fresh start and a whole new style of play to our team,” Almeida said.
Much like Almeida, senior Taylor Bisaillon said that having a younger team allows for new beginnings and starting foundation for the years ahead. “The new girls are a great group. They’re attentive, hard working and really care about making it a good year for the graduating seniors,” Bisaillon said.
The senior added that having so many first-years has definitely changed the dynamic from previous years, but in a positive way.
“Last year we had a lot of seniors, which kind of caused a power struggle between everyone. This year, it seems that everyone is more willing to work with each other to better improve themselves and the team as a whole,” Bisaillon said.
As an upperclassman, Bisaillon is also trying her best to guide the first-years and help them in their transition.
“Encouragement from both old and new players is all about positive attitudes and constructive criticism. It’s important to stay positive in rough game situations, but it’s also important to hold ourselves and each other accountable for our playing,” Bisaillon said.
Luckily, the first-years have more time to adjust and transition, said Bisaillon. “This group will have more seasons to learn each other’s style of play and be a more cohesive group. On the flip side, it’s the initial first year of transition that’s going to be the building blocks and cause a little bit of struggle,” added Bisaillon.
Unfortunately, Head Coach Denise Lyons and Assistant Coach/Goaltending Coach Ike McMillan did not respond or comment.
Almeida said that despite the age, it all comes down to heart and motivation. “As a captain, I try to encourage everyone to go out onto the field and play as hard as they can for every minute they’re on the field, whether that be five or 90. We should feel honored to be on the field, and play with heart whenever we can.”
Caroline Perry can be contacted at