The Mercer women’s soccer team is off to a good start to the 2018 season, going 5-3-2 over the first 10 games and having scored 29 goals.
“I think we’ve done well,” said star forward Abigail Zoeller. “We definitely have shown growth from day one.”
Head coach Tony Economopoulos said he agrees that the start of the season has been “pretty good.”
“Our energy has been great, our game plan has been spot on so we’ve been the better team,” he said. “Overall our effort has been there and we’re peaking at the right time I feel.”
Economopoulos said he believes the best quality the team has demonstrated is their chemistry.
“The chemistry of our team is positive. Everyone’s encouraging each other,” he said.
Zoeller said she believes that the team captains, Megan Delmonico, Jordan Christensen and Haley McDuffee, are a large part of why the team has good chemistry and has had a good start to the season.
“You know we’ve got Megan our vocal leader and then Jordan is also vocal and… and Duffee just her hard work and grit just emphasizes kind of our team motto,” Zoeller said.
Another quality that Economopoulos attributed to the good start the team has had is their ability to create chances.
“The next thing is we’re creating a lot more chances this year as opposed to last year…on the offensive side: more corner kicks, more shots, more shots on goal and more goals,” he said.
The team is outscoring opponents this season 29 to 9. Those 29 goals are 14 more than Mercer scored through the first 10 games last season.
A big part of the offensive uptick is in large part due to Zoeller who comes in as a transfer from Kentucky. So far, she leads the team in goals and assists. Her play so far has garnered attention from the Southern Conference with a player of the week award.
“Abigail has been our leader offensively,” Economopoulos said. “Our team really looks up to her to help carry us at times offensively.”
Despite the team’s ability at creating chances for goals, Economopoulos said the spot they need to improve in is finishing off those chances and converting them into goals. They have put 98 shots on target so far this season, but have only put 29 of those shots in the back of the net.
“Defensively we’ve gotten solid, midfield have gotten better, forwards are creating more,” Economopoulos said.
The team isn’t discouraged by their shortcomings at the beginning of the season and they also aren’t resting on what they’ve done well.
“If we keep playing to our potential and keep growing I think we think we could go far,” Zoeller said.