Returning players look to keep women's soccer on the right track
This coming season, the goal for the Santa Monica Corsairs Women's soccer team is no different from any other team, to win a conference and state championship.
Last seasons 1-0 first round loss to El Camino College has been well forgotten for the Corsairs as they are focusing all of their attention to getting back to the playoffs, and beyond, as they prepare for next season. Last season the Corsairs finished with a 12-4-5 record, earning them second place in the conference.
The Corsairs were ranked higher than El Camino and the loss snapped a five game winning streak against them. "We have never lost to them since I have been coaching," said Benditson who started coaching at SMC in 2005, "they exploited us."
The Corsairs started their season off slow, coming to a draw in their first four non–conference matches and losing a crucial match against Santa Barbara, yet they tied current state champions San Bernardino Valley College in one of their non-conference matches.
"Just goes to show that we can play with the best of them," said Benditson about the team early on in the season. After a few early season woes the Corsairs went on to finish the season winning their last four of six conference matches but losing out to El Camino College in the Corsairs first round of the playoffs.
Led by freshmen Olivia Patterson, who had 12 goals for a total of 32 points last season, and Mercy Tejada, who had 10 goals for a total of 35 points. Patterson will be returning next season and will be an impact player.
Along with Patterson, Freshmen Alisa Sheldon and Samantha Lee will be counted on to help lead the Corsairs to success next season. They are three of the nine players returning next season.
Many of the players that the team is losing were key starters who helped the in their success last season. But the returners are up to the task to help lead the team to victory.
"I have to step up my game a little more," said Lee, "Be more of a leader." Lee is expecting a lot from herself this season, as she is the only returning defensive specialist on the team and will be looked upon to help lead the defensive unit.
"Our goal this season is to win a conference championship," said Coach Benditson.
Benditson has been steadily recruiting players since the season ended and feels that those coming in will be able to give them some immediate success. Bendiston holds a class for students who would like to come and try out. The class starts June 20and meets Monday through Thursday from 10:15 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. on the Corsair field.