I am sure you are tired of me talking about all the “firsts” that I have been experiencing over the last two years. This is another entry with more record breaking, history making accomplishments.
For the first time, Belmont had more than one person make First Team All-Conference. Two would have set a record, but we blew that out of the water by getting four players on the first team. They are Sari Lin, Gretchen Sutch, Jayme Trocino, and Erica Carter. All four are very deserving.
Sari has the lowest goals against average in the conference (.51). Only 2 conference teams scored on her during the regular season. Gretchen is one of the most athletic outside backs and best individual defenders in the conference. Jayme Trocino is our leading scorer and tied for first in the conference in goals with 10. Erica Carter is one of the most feared forwards in the conference. Her speed and strength makes her one of the most difficult players to defend.
Laura Harris was the only unanimous selection on the All-Freshman Team. Laura has added a physical presence in the midfield for us. She is great in the tackle and fearless in the air.
I am grateful for the votes and the respect of the other coaches, but I think some of our players missed out on some recognition. I think Sari should have been Defensive Player of the Year. She shut out 8 of 10 conference opponents. I think Laura Harris should have been Freshman of the Year. How is she the only unanimous pick and not be the Freshman of the Year? More of our defenders should have been recognized on the second team or freshman team. Jessica Rix, Marcela Sanchez, and Brandi Phillips are starters for the team with the lowest goals against average in the conference (.65). We are tied for first in shutouts (6) and goals allowed (7). Morgan McBride also helped us with these league leading statistics.
Offensively, Annie Musacchio is in the top 10 in points and top 4 in assists in the conference. Elizabeth Bublis is also in the top 4 in assists. I am sure the other coaches feel like some of their players were also slighted. It’s just part of the process.
After practice on Wednesday, I received a text from Kenisha, our media relations director. It said. 1st Team – Sari, Erica, Gretchen, Jayme
Fresh Team – Laura
Coach of the Year – YOU!
It was actually a fun way to find out about Coach of the Year. I started shaking. It was fun to tell the team after practice. I think Gretchen got the biggest cheer of the 5 players. Not because she deserved it more or less than any of the others. Her position of left back could easily be overlooked and underrated. It is nice when a person in that kind of position gets recognized for her hard work and ability.
Definitely, the biggest cheer was for Coach of the Year. The team has been nothing but supportive of me in one of the most difficult seasons in my career. All the rain has compounded our field issues which caused many more problems than practices and games. I lost my grandfather the first week of the season. I lost my cat the last week of the regular season. One of the more difficult parts has been managing a team of 27. The girls don’t make it difficult. I think they have handled it quite well.
There are not enough hours in a day, not enough practices in a week, and not enough games in a season to completely involve, fully develop, and thoroughly communicate with all 27 players. Can it be done over a period of 4 years? Absolutely. Can it be done in 3 months? I don’t think so.
I certainly do not dislike having 27 players. I do find it to be a challenge, but I think the numbers of players increase our potential. That is why I want to manage them as best as I can.
Hopefully, I will have time to tell you about our (best ever) Halloween practice before we leave for the tournament. If not, I’ll see you in Kennesaw.