A grueling 90 minutes in net on a scorching hot day in August left fifth-year senior Jennifer Pettigrew exhausted, nearly panting while she searched for the perfect word to describe what will lead to a success- ful women’s soccer season: growth.
“We just want to make the tour- nament and win,” said Pettigrew, who was a medical redshirt last season while dealing with an ankle injury. Older and wiser, Pettigrew now has the chance to be the lead- ing lady in the Pirate clubhouse.
The team’s 2013 campaign will come stocked with a plethora of experience. Midfielder Ashley Clarke, midfielder Brittney Al- brecht, midfielder Amie Ruhe, forward Katie Ritter, defenseman Meghan Hayes and defenseman Marie Klemme join Pettigrew as the seven seniors at the team’s core.
Clarke, Ritter and Klemme pro- vided a scoring threat each con- tributing three goals. Yet having experience at the core will not be what takes the team toward success, but rather using that experience as a jumping point.
Pettigrew spoke of Friday after- noon’s 2-0 victory against Army as a, “performance to build off,” saying each game will teach the team something about themselves.
“Our leaders have seen the good and the bad times, and you hope that those experiences will help,” Tambi said. Considering fresh- men such as Maier and Cortes have yet to see the losing side of Seton Hall soccer, they do not have the level-headedness that a leader such as Pettigrew has.
“We know now not to take any- thing for granted because the season goes by pretty quickly,” Pettigrew said. She said she knows how quickly successes could turn to struggles, but having an experienced core could diffuse that type of problem.
The team shares an optimistic yet cautious view on the rest of the season. “From this point on, every game is tough,” Tambi said. “There is no easy days for us.”
Gerard Gilberto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.