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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

From the Ground Up

Every building relies heavily on the foundation that it is built on. If the foundation is strong, the building will stand tall for many years to come. However, if that foundation is weak, the building will most certainly crumble sooner or later. In building a winning sports team, recruiting is that foundation.

UMass Boston’s women’s soccer coach Amy Zombeck has done a good job thus far in creating a strong foundation for her team. Through six games this season, two freshman, Kristin Mulry and Molly Kuchar, have already made their mark on the team. In their first conference game against Rhode Island College, the pair, along with tremendous goaltending by senior Courtney Haroules, propelled the Beacons beat Rhode Island College for the first time in 13 years.

The victory is an early sign that these Beacons are ready for change.

So what exactly goes into Coach Zombeck’s recruiting strategy?

“When recruiting, we obviously look at skill,” Zombeck says. “Also, work ethic and other things you cannot teach but can see when players are preparing. We also look at things outside of soccer, such as academics, personality, and whether or not they will fit into the UMB Philosophy.”

One of those players is freshman midfielder Molly Kuchar. Coming out of A.C. Reynolds High School in Asheville, North Carolina, Kuchar had much success during her high school playing days. A senior captain, she helped her team become the 2005, 2007, and 2008 4A conference champions. She was recognized for her efforts by being selected to the 2008 North Carolina East-West All-Star game.

However, as Kuchar knows, college soccer is a whole new game.

“Coach Zombeck’s preseason this year served as a major transition for me,” Kuchar says. “It was one of the hardest I have ever gone through. College soccer mandates a greater amount of discipline and time compared to high school. It is a much faster game and requires quicker decisions on and off the ball.”

Zombeck praises her young midfielder’s efforts in making the transition.

“Molly has done well making the transition from high school to college,” she says. “I think she has realized how physically demanding the college game is, and has adapted quite well.”

A big part in that transition is gaining the respect of new teammates. Luckily for Kuchar, she had no such problem.

“It definitely was hard starting all over again,” says Kuchar. “But the girls were very welcoming through try-outs and preseason, which helped all the new girls feel more comfortable.”

Zombeck noticed much of the same. “The older players are just as much a part of her success. Every player on this team helps to prepare each other for the next game. The new players bring a new attitude and excitement to the program and the older players bring experience.”

Speaking about experience, many coaches like to let their younger players gain experience before throwing them on the field early in their career. Zombeck sees it differently.

“My staff and I will put the team [on the field] that we believe will help us win day in and day out,” Zombeck says. “If that means starting younger players, that is what we’ll do.

“Freshman players can bring it and have an impact early. It is the older players that help to shape and give the younger players a better understanding of what it means to bring it day in and day out.”

Kuchar knows all about this, as she lives with two older players, Courtney Haroules and Ashley McRoberts.

“Both Courtney and Ashley have really helped me out,” says Kuchar. “They’ve helped me better adapt here from North Carolina.”

Zombeck must approve on that according to her attitude regarding change.

“New and returning players have to adapt to changes,” says Zombeck. “We try to get the team to mesh early so that they can begin to feel comfortable playing on the field together.”

Kuchar seems to think the team has adapted well, and gives credit to her coach.

“From the start of Zombeck’s brutal preseason, she has created a mindset for us all that will help us make history,” Kuchar says. “We have a lot of talent that will help lead us to our first ever play-off position.”

Who said anything about having to gain comfort? With confidence like that, the Lady Beacons’ foundation doesn’t look like it’ll be crumbling anytime soon.

About the Contributor
Sebastian Lena served as the sports editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2009-2010 Lena also served as business manager Fall 2011