Photo by Hana Ishihara ‘17 |Photographer
Winners of three of its first four games, Lafayette women’s soccer (3-2-1) took a step back last weekend, losing to Fairleigh Dickinson 1-0 and tying Temple University in overtime.
Outshot and out-cornered by its opponents, it was the defense that came to the rescue to avoid a losing weekend. Lafayette is tied for second in the Patriot League in goals allowed, letting in only six shots in six games, and will continue to rely heavily on its defense throughout the season.
Staff writer Jessica Deutsch ‘15 sat down with Sam Potoczak ‘16 and Caroline Craver ‘15, two members of the back four, for a more in-depth look at the Lafayette defense.
The last line of defense consists of an interchange of players – Caroline Craver ‘15, Cat Galgano ‘14, Sam Potoczak ‘16, Alex Reisinger ‘15 and Kelly Chickering ‘16.
Though valued for their skills and soccer experience, this group has not played together much at all. Last season, Potoczak played left midfielder and has since moved to defense.
“This is the first time all of us have played together,” Craver said. “Everyone has to click as a group and I think we have this season. With Cat being the captain, she really takes control of the back four with her leadership skills but we all have to know our specific role.”
The back four’s role is not limited to just defending. Numerous players have recorded assists on the attack starting from the defensive side of the field.
“Our attacking out of the back is our greatest strength, Potoczak said.
“When our outside backs get forward, that’s when we have the most success because it’s an additional two players going up to help the midfield have an extra person to pass to,” Craver said.
A common strength of the back four is ball pattern and movement, focusing on possession and playing the ball up the line. Assisting the back four in that respect is defensive midfielder Kelly Boyce ‘15.
“Kelly’s headers are amazing,” Craver said. “She wins them basically 99% of the time. It’s helpful so the ball doesn’t drop right in front of us.”
Rounding out the defensive unit is freshman goalkeeper Danielle Sedillo, who registered five saves in the tie against Temple. Sedillo replaced injured Kelly Sposato ‘14 who suffered a season-ending ACL tear.
“Dani is really good with the ball at her feet,” Potoczak said. “She has come up with some really huge saves so far. As a freshman coming in having to just step up, she’s been doing a great job.”
The defense becomes as important as ever this weekend, as Patriot League play begins tomorrow against Colgate.