New Coach, New Course
After serving as an assistant last year, head coach Sarah Maracani and her team have gone undefeated in non-conference games and have come away with several victories against MIAA opponents.
Maracani said, “The start to our season is exciting and humbling. I am proud of the wins we have come away with.” This is the team’s best start since 2015, when they made it into the conference playoffs.
More than half the season remains, but Maracani believes even better things are in store for the team. “I see some more potential in the girls to play better. They’ve shown a lot of fierce play already, but I think they can play harder…especially in these upcoming conference games,” she said.
Maracani was still playing college soccer only two years ago, while she was a senior goalkeeper for the Spring Arbor University Cougars. Her college soccer record in goal was 72-9-4, and she played a huge role in the Cougars winning the NAIA championship.
Looking into her coaching career, Maracani said she has “quickly gotten the feel for it.” She also added that “the pressure to win has ended.”
Winning has been the headline for this women’s soccer squad. A mix of experienced seniors and new freshman players have all contributed to the success.
Senior forward Isabelle Leon (above) leads the conference in both goals and total points, and has attempted to most shots. She also has recently eclipsed the 100-point milestone, which puts her at fourth all-time in Comet history. Only eleven points separate her from third all time, and she is 54 away from first place. Leon was aware of the record before her accomplishment that came against Trine. “I felt that it would come soon. It feels good to have a team around me that gives me opportunities to succeed,” Leon said. “I do look forward to scoring more and helping the team out in the rest of the season.”
Freshman goalkeeper Brooklyn Holley won MIAA Defensive Player of the Week honors in the first week of the season. Holley also has achieved a save percentage of .931, second in all of the MIAA.
Junior forward Emma Essen (above) has also won Defensive Player of the Week, and has kept up offensive stats to help in the scoring for the Comets. She is second in goals and total points.
Sophomore midfielder Maya Prewitt has two goals on only five shots, which is the most efficient on the team. She believes her biggest improvement from last year is “winning more fifty-fifty balls, and being more confident in myself.” Prewitt also said, “I’m excited to play and beat teams that we lost to, or were very back and forth with last year.”
When asked about the offensive and defensive presence the team has, Maracani said that “the girls have been balanced when out on the field. I stress the importance of solid play on both sides of the field every day at practice.”
Olivet will have to keep up its solid play going into the second half of the season, as it once again attempts to reach a bid to the MIAA playoffs.
Olivet’s next game is the last non-conference match up of the season against Augustana of Illinois. Comets won’t be back on the field at home until Oct. 4, where they will play at the Cutler Athletic Complex against Saint Mary’s, at 4 p.m.
For the full results from previous games and the upcoming schedule, go to olivetcomets.com. You can also catch updates from the Echo on Twitter and our website, www.