Always a First Time

Sebastian Lena

All droughts eventually come to an end. Even the world’s longest drought to date, in the Atacama Desert of Chile, eventually came to an end in 1971 after 400 years.

UMass Boston’s women’s soccer team is looking to end a drought of it’s own. Hopefully it takes them much less than 400 years to do it.

In their entire 12 year tenure in the Little East Conference, the Lady Beacons have failed to make the tournament even once.

Lady Beacons head coach Amy Zombeck believes this could be the year.

“I believe this team can make a run for an LEC playoff berth,” Zombeck said. “This is a different team with a different mentality, but it is a matter of putting it all together.”

Courtney Haroules, the team’s captain, agrees with her coach.

“We have excellent chemistry this year,” she says. “Matched with a strong desire to compete at the highest level possible.”

When trying to accomplish something for the first time, getting off to a quick start is important. The LEC conference games are no different.

“It’s very important to get off to a fast start in the conference,” Coach Zombeck says. “It means gaining more confidence as each opponent gets tougher and tougher throughout the year.”

The opponent between the Beacon’s and a quick start? 1-4 Rhode Island College.

The Beacon’s are 0-3 against Rhode Island College the previous three years. In those games, the Beacon’s were outscored 14-1.

“We’ve struggled to score,” Zomebeck said of the results. “But we have players now who can put the ball in the back of the net. It’s a matter of creating scoring opportunities.”

But if the Beacons plan on ending their playoff drought, this is just one of the many hurdles along the way they need to clear.

“Rhode Island College is a very complete team,” Haroules explained. “They move the ball well, and play the game with great discipline. We just need to play our game, and I think that the results will be better than they have been.”

Zombeck brings up aggressiveness.

“We have to be agressive to beat them,” she says. “We have to create better scoring opportunities. We have to come out with a high level of intensity and make things happen from the start. It is about who comes to play and who doesn’t. We have to make our own destiny.”

Conference games usually bring a new level of intensity. However, Captain Courtney Haroules rejects that idea.

“I don’t believe that is necessarily true,” she says. “We treat each game with an equal amount of importance. Coach [Zombeck] has been pushing us very hard thus far this season. This has been one of the toughest preseasons that I have experienced.”

Zombeck has been pushing her team harder, hoping to battle harden her team.

“Conference means a new intensity and meaning to the game,” said Zombeck. “It’s preparing them to know that conference means tournament and that each coference game is more important than the last.”

So as the Lady Beacon’s strive to make a change, you should too. If you plan on watching the Lady Beacons dash towards their first playoff appearance, you better pack an umbrella. From the looks of it, this drought doesn’t look like it’s going to hold up much longer.