An Exciting Start to a Very Young Women’s Soccer Team

Ryan Naughton, Writer

As of Sept. 14, the Elgin Community College Women’s Soccer team has played six games and has one more win than all of last year combined. Coach Richard Ceh believes that there is more to come from this team in this 2016 season.

“I feel very good about these first six games, we’re scoring a lot of goals, several more than we had last year which is great. We’re already starting to gel more as a team this year,” Coach Ceh said.

In the first six games of this season, the ECC Women’s Soccer team has already scored 17 goals which is the 10th highest in the division so far this season. The accomplishments of this 2016 team do not stop there, however. As for shooting on goal, they currently have 74 shots, making them the 7th highest team in the division along with shooting percentage which is currently at 2.467.

“So far this season our strengths on top of everything else would be the effort and passion for the game, these ladies play with their hearts every game, all game long, very impressive group of ladies,” said Ceh.

As for any weaknesses to work on so far Ceh said, “To continue the team chemistry and find to work with each other, I’m really proud to see improvements like yesterday against Joliet, we had four different players score goals in our 4-0 victory over them, so that is very good.”

So far, the women’s soccer team holds a record of 3-3, which is actually one win higher than the entire season last year.

The team currently has 12 players and only three of them are returning players: goalkeeper Denise Maldonado, center Krystal Meraz, and center Alexis Lewis. Lewis had been lighting up the league with assists and currently leads the league with nine so far this season. While the other nine players are new freshman, Ceh does believe there is a very bright future for this team.

“I like the new players so far,” Ceh said. “Definitely the talent is there, it’s one of our most skillful teams that we have had here in the past five years. So it’s all about taking those skilled players and finding out how we can use their best talents to keep us as a soccer family and to play to the best of our abilities.”

Ceh is looking forward to seeing how the team works together in the future.

“This is one of the best teams, talent-wise, that we have had here in the past five years and it’s all up to if we can put it all together and if can we continue to gel,” Ceh said.

So far this season, they have only played one game against a conference team and that was an exciting 3-2 victory, after a double overtime against Morton on Sept. 7. This makes them 1-0 so far this season.

“It is one of the toughest conferences in the Midwest. We will do well. If we certainly get our scoring chances going like we have, we should fare well in the conference,” said Ceh.

In the near future they have some very hard matches against teams that ECC has previously not fared well against. One of those teams is Oakton, who defeated ECC in the second round of playoffs last year to knock them out of the playoffs. The Spartans will be looking for a little revenge against them on Sept 14.

“They are a very tough school and they usually have a very good center back, and some fast forwards and we have had good battles with them over the years,” said Ceh.

So far this season ECC started off on the losing end with an awful 6-0 loss to Rock Valley but then they bounced right back up to beat Illinois Valley. Since then, it has been back and forth with wins and losses, including wins against Morton and Joliet band loses against DuPage and Triton to make their overall record, so far, at an even .500 with three wins and three loses.

With six games played and six games left in the season, their playoff hopes are far from gone and they actually see themselves doing a lot better this year than they did last year.

“We are looking to go a lot farther than we did last year, this is our first year as a division three school because the previous we were in division one, so all of the teams that we face are new, so we are looking to do very well against division three schools because we certainly do have the talent to beat division three schools,” said Ceh.

There are three games remaining that are at home for the women’s soccer team: Sunday, Sept. 25, against Madison at noon, Friday, Sept. 30, against rival Harper at 5, and Monday, Oct. 10, against Lake County at 5.