Q & A With Women's Soccer Coach Alison Foley
Aug 20, 2013
Chestnut Hill, Mass. -
The Boston College women's soccer team will host No. 2 Stanford in the season opener on Friday, August 23 at 7 p.m. Head Coach Alison Foley, who is entering her 17th season at the Heights, took time out of preseason to answer some questions about the 2013 team.
Q - How has preseason been going with the team?
Foley - Kristie and Vicki are great players and have done a lot to build the Boston College women's soccer program into one of the top teams in the country. I look at the season we just finished and our team had a really powerful attack. This year we return our number two, three, and four leading scorers in Stephanie McCaffrey, McKenzie Meehan and Kate McCarthy. Then we add in Gibby Wagner back in good form and Rachel Davitt, who will be pushed up top from the back. I think we will remain one of the most dangerous teams going forward.
Q - Will your team adjust how it attacks without the Mewis and DiMartino?
Foley - Kristie had a bit of a "free role" on the team. Sometimes when you have a player with that type of individual creativity you allow her to roam a bit. I think you will see a lot of players in specific roles this season. They prepared and ready to step up and score goals.
Foley - I think our captains have unique qualities that make them great leaders. We worked hard in the off-season with the development of leadership and they really have stepped it up. They have a lot of respect from their teammates and staff and all three are extremely invested. The leadership of this whole senior class is very good. It reminds me a lot of our 2010 senior class when we went to the College Cup. They are gritty determined and many will be in the starting line-up, which carries you a long way in post-season. Nothing can replace experience.
Q - You have two goalkeepers on the roster - Jess Mickelson and Alex Johnson - will you have a rotating goalkeeper by game, by half or will there be a clear No. 1 & No. 2?
Foley - We have been really pleased with our goalkeepers this past spring and throughout preseason. Our new goal-keeper coach Mark McDevitt has worked really hard with them and the relationship has been positive all round. They are both battling and both are prepared to start; like the field players its competition and we will take the starting role day by day and game by game.
Q - What are your early impressions of the freshmen class?
Foley - I really like this group of freshmen. They are a very gifted class. They have been like sponges and soaked everything up. They are quickly learning the BC way. They came here to surround themselves with some of the top players in the country and to be pushed and that's certainly happening right now. Without a doubt a few of them will make an immediate impact and make us that much better. In my 17 years at BC, we have never had a freshman goal-scorer like Hayley Dowd. She is relentless and can score in so many different ways.
Foley - I don't think it was our defensive players per say but our overall commitment to defending. It's a team concept not just our defenders or goalies. It was an uncharacteristic year for us as normally we are stingy to let goals in and really difficult to play against. It's been a challenge and we have worked hard all spring and preseason to get back to our defensive reputation. Without question Ashleigh and Meg will help out; but I think if one thing has resonated from after our season last year is - defense wins championships - that's our mission.
Q - Again the schedule is packed with tough teams. The team is scheduled to play Stanford, BU and UConn to open the season. Talk about the strength of the schedule and what you will have to do to compete in the ACC this year with the addition of Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh.
Foley - Without question we have one of the toughest schedules in the country. We have found to do the best in the ACC and deal with that level we need to have a tough non-conference schedule to prepare us. This will be a great early test and should make us be as ready as possible for the ACC.
Q - It seems like Stanford is forever on the schedule. Can you talk about the relationship with the Cardinal and how this has developed that the two schools habitually play during the regular season?
Foley - It started out I believe five years ago with Stanford inviting us out to play and then we asked for a return the following year. There is a lot of mutual respect between the programs, so we decided to make it a handshake deal on a rotation of away, home, off.
Q - As you look at the roster, who do you expect to step up to lead your defense, your midfield and up front?
Foley - I think we have great leaders in all thirds of the field. Casey Morrison and Zoe Lombard have anchored the central defense next to each other for three years now with Kate McCarthy sitting in front of them. That will be the heart of the back field. In midfield, Patrice Vettori is as good as any attacking central midfielder out there and will orchestrate from the middle third. We have some real confident front runners in Steph McCaffrey, Gibby Wagner, McKenzie Meehan and now Hayley Dowd.
Fans remember that the Eagles open up the season on Friday, August 23 at 7 p.m. There is free admission for all BC women's soccer regular season home games. Also to follow the Eagles on social media throughout the season - please check out Twitter/bc_wsoc or the team Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BCWSOCCER.