Still Kicking: Women's Soccer Stays Ready to Dominate
Amid the start of this strange semester at Furman, the 2019 regular season Southern Conference Champion women’s soccer team continues to prepare for a delayed season. While the team, and Furman as a whole, is disappointed with the postponement of fall sports, the women’s soccer team is no less deterred to complete their goals. Seniors Josie Gillespie and Ellie Laxer said they were “disappointed because of all the hard work they put in over the summer.” However, they added that they were not surprised to hear the news of postponement due to the prevailing uncertainty surrounding sports over the past few months.
Despite the delay, the team is training in their normal off-season manner and mentally preparing for the opportunity to play in the spring. Josie Gillespie spoke about her approach to leadership during the unique challenges of this year, emphasizing the importance of “trying to stay positive and set a good example for the team, despite not knowing if there will be a season.” The 2019 season was a momentous one for the team. They finished with an overall record of 14-6-1 and 2-1 record in the Southern Conference championship and tournament, only losing to Samford in the final game. Reflecting on the past season, Ellie Laxer said, “It was frustrating to lose in a final game that we should have won, and the coronavirus has put some obstacles in the way. I think being back on campus has reignited our motivation to defend the championship once again”
The players are not the only ones who feel confident about the upcoming season. Coach Andrew Burr ’91 remains optimistic about the team’s skill saying., “Our team has a unique blend of youth and experience. I appreciate the leadership from our seniors, and I am proud of how well our players represent Furman both on and off the field.”
Furman women’s soccer has some exciting new talent, and the group of incoming athletes feeds into the anticipation for the postponed season. The team looks forward to welcoming athletes such as Miya Poplin, the South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, and Nieva Gaither, the Georgia Gatorade player of the year. The returning All So-Con players from last year–Isabella Gutierrez, Kyndal Anderson, and Erin Houlihan are also assets to the program. On the whole, the team is shaping up to dominate the Southern Conference no matter what obstacles are in their way.