WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – A “three-peat” as Section VI Class A champions, an undefeated regular season, and a 40 goal scorer. 2013 brought many smiles to the Williamsville South girls soccer team. It seems the Billies are the team to beat in their division and head coach Kevin McNamara senses that too.
“As far as a bullseye, I guess because we won it in the past it’s probable that we do have. It’s good we’ve been a good program. I tell the girls year in and year out everybody brings their best game against us and that’s part of the enjoyment of this,” Kevin McNamara explained.
“Every team their mentality is to come in and beat us so we just have to go into every game with the mind set to play our best game and just enjoy ourselves. We just have to feel no pressure because we just have to have fun and find a way to win,” junior midfielder Bizzy Moore said.
A huge reason for Will South’s success over the years is thanks to graduated senior, Carissima Cutrona. She capped a 40 goal season in 2013 but Coach McNamara has confidence his squad’s ability to bounce back.
“Two time All American. I will say this, it’s a big hole and you’re not going to try and fill that hole but we have kids here on the team that can step up. I guess it’s going to be the demand that everybody else steps up and contributes as much as they can,” Coach McNamara said.
It’s not just Coach McNamara who seems confident with this year’s team; the players believe in themselves this season as well.
“I feel like it will be a great team, most people say since we lost Carissima we’re not going to be good but they seem to forget all of the other talented players that we have. I think we’ll do great this season and we’ll just have a great time,” senior midfielder Vicki Crocker said.
Will South didn’t just lose its star forward from last season; the Billies will be without their starting goal keeper from 2013. But junior forward Jamie Boyar explains the key to moving on is just staying focused.
“You can’t replace two players like that. You have Carissima, she’s just all around an amazing person and player and you have Rachel Grampp just same thing. In order to I guess you could say replace them we just need to work hard at practice and just be more focused so we’ll see what happens,” Jamie Boyar explained.
“I feel like since we’ve lost Rachel, a great keeper, I feel like we’ll just be able to grow in other ways and different ways that we haven’t been able to grow before. I feel like we may have a totally different view of the game since we don’t have Rachel and Carissima anymore but I feel like we’ll still just have a great time and still do well,” Crocker explained.
It seems part of the team’s confidence comes from the experience it has returning this season.
“Well for this year it’s fantastic for next year maybe not so much. Five of those kids coming back were with us four years ago when we got to states so it’s exciting. We have good core of players coming back and that will help,” Coach McNamara pointed out.
For the first day of practices, expectations aren’t the only thing that are high, so are the excitement levels.
“Everyone comes, everyone’s a little nervous on the first day but it’s also exciting because everyone’s back together finally for the first time. It’s just good to finally get your feet kind of ready and get on with each other learn how everyone gets to move and play around with each other so it’s nervous but more exciting at the same time,” senior captian Monique Green said.
In order to have similar success to last year, Jamie Boyar explains what the focus is for Will South heading into this season.
“We just have to keep doing the same things we’ve been doing. My past two years here we’ve always had the really strong team family mentality so we’ve been really close on and off the field and we just really work well together as a team,” Boyar said.
On the first day of practice, Coach McNamara has one message he wants to get to his players.
“I guess the message to them is we always set some goals but the goal for them is to make sure that they come out, practice hard every day and prepare for games. The goal, again is I’ll say to them we’re going to follow our leadership on the team,” Coach McNamara said.
Williamsville South opens up the season on Wednesday, September 3rd against Lakeshore.