Reflecting on the season and the things to come
Losing is a tough pill to swallow. For the Fordham Women’s Soccer team, tying was an even tougher one. The Rams’ playoff hopes were dangling by a thread, and they needed to beat undefeated LaSalle to have a chance to advance. Fordham led late with a 1-0 lead, but LaSalle quickly added a last minute goal to even the score, one that would stay the same through overtime until the final whistle. It was a dissatisfying end to a bumpy season.
“I can’t complain,” said Selmani. “They left it on the field and that’s our trademark.”
Despite the disappointing end to the soccer year, Selmani is confident good things will come for his team.
“We’re in a transition stage,” said Selmani. “Just looking at the stats, this team has a great future.”
He has good reason to say this primarily because of the strong freshman class this year. Led by 2011 A-10 All- Rookie team forward Kristina Maksuti and Midfielder Maria Lorena Canicatti, the team became reenergized. There were growing pains along the way, like adjusting to playing on the road, but this experience will certainly be vital next year, especially when they welcome in a just as talented new class next fall.
Playing Texas A&M earlier in the year, and currently scheduled to oppose Michigan in 2012, Selmani knows that getting his team this kind of exposure enhances his recruiting capabilities. Showing off the Fordham brand and the big name schools on the schedule entices players and also strengthens the experience of the team.
The program was able to influence Maria Lorena Canicatti, and her play certainly helped her to enjoy a memorable freshman year. She played all 19 games, had one goal and five assists, and helped hold the Rams’ midfield intact.
“It was an amazing feeling to be part of the starting line-up as a freshman,” Canicatti said. “I feel I adjusted quickly with the other girls on the team and played well alongside them on the field and a major reason for this was because the coaches were very supportive and encouraging throughout the season.”
She and the rest of her teammates reflected this supportive nature with a lot of positivity on and off the field. This was noticeable even during the grueling practice regimens Selmani instituted, which included Indian runs, fast-paced leap frogs, and serpentine sprints.
“We train them like marines so we don’t have to worry about them on the field,” Selmani said. “My team has been known to never give up. We play 90 minutes and other teams hate to play us because we play the whole game.”
Canicatti realizes the value of this mindset.
“No matter what the score was, not one single player gave up. Everyone worked for one another and gave their best until the end,” she said. “This mentality can help us decide games and it will be important to continue this into the next season.”
Speaking of next fall, Canicatti, like the rest of her teammates will be working hard in the offseason, training indoors with cardio over the winter and practicing with the team again in the spring. Unlike the NFL this year, missing Organized Team Activities, also known as OTA’s, won’t be an issue. Getting this extra time in the spring and also the rest of the year to get better acquainted with everyone is always an invaluable part of college athletics, and should figure to be beneficial for this young squad.
The bad taste is still in their mouths; however, they believe next season. A new influx of talent and this year’s freshman class gaining a year of experience will produce a flavorful opportunity.
Canicatti can’t wait.
“I’m anxiously counting down the days until I get to put on the Fordham colors and step back onto the field,” she stated. “As much as we are going to miss our seniors, we have a great core of girls remaining, and with a little refining and tweaking I know we will be holding up the conference trophy next fall.”