Fall is here, along with another grueling NESCAC season for The Bates women’s soccer team – and this year it seems the squad might be more prepared than ever to succeed after intense tryouts to determine their 2016 team roster.

“This preseason tryout was one of the most competitive we have had in my time at Bates (since 2010). Coming off of the success of last year, we raised our expectations for our student-athletes,” said sixth year coach Kelsy Ross. This year’s team features a 25-person roster, including seven first years. “The Class of 2020 has already brought a combination of composure and flair that people are going to enjoy watching,” continued Ross, highlighting the bevy of incoming players who made the cut.   

“We had a very hard tryout preseason with a substantial amount of cuts, so I feel as though this year’s team is the most competitive and hungry we have ever been,” echoed captain Erin Shea ‘17. It is precisely this type of competitive culture within a team, that can lead to the toughness required to win games on the field.   

Shea, a center-midfielder who also will be captaining the women’s lacrosse team this upcoming spring in addition to her duties with the soccer team, is a co-captain with defender Allison Hill ‘17. Shea highlighted valuing team chemistry on and off the field, and leading by example as important methods for helping this year’s team churn out victories.

Bates WOSO, the affectual moniker of the women’s soccer team, has some lofty goals for the fall concerning both process and end result. “We want to play high intensity, clean, fun, soccer. Decreasing our goals against, and increasing our goals for averages will be key to improving upon our success in 2015. A deeper run into the NESCAC tournament is also on our minds,” said coach Ross, referring to the team’s 4-3-3 showing in NESCAC play last year.

Shea too referenced a deeper NESCAC tournament run this year as a goal, and a possible NCAA tournament bid. Shea also uniquely stated one team goal is to win every overtime game they play this year.

The fall game schedule starts promptly with the academic calendar, and unusually the NESCAC conference schedule too wastes no time starting up. WOSO has already played three games, including their conference opener against Hamilton on Saturday in their second game of the season.

The Bobcats went 2-1 in their opening triad of home games, defeating Maine Maritime 2-0 in their opener under the lights on Garcelon field Tuesday night, falling 3-1 to Hamilton in their conference opener Saturday, and drubbing University of Southern Maine 8-0 Sunday. eight different players scored in these opening matches, including Sarah Dipillo ‘20, and Riley Turcotte ‘20.

“It was great to start the season off with a win on Garcelon in front of everyone that came out to support us. We’re looking forward to building off this game, and we hope to carry the momentum into our double header weekend,” said defender Alexa Adams ‘17 of their clinical 2-0 victory to start the season.

The team hits the road this week, taking on Bowdoin and Tufts away as they continue their conference slate.