The Colgate women’s soccer team comes into the 2019 season with high expectations after winning the Patriot League regular season title last year. Maroon News sports section Senior Editor Eric
Fishbin sat down with senior defender Leah Lewis to talk to her about the start of the season and expectation for this year.
Eric Fishbin: You were here over the summer working in the Office of Admission, do you think any of the skills you picked up in James B. Colgate Hall have translated to Beyer-Small ‘76 Field?
Leah Lewis: Yes, of course. Throughout my time as an intern in the Office of Admission, I spent my time communicating with different people in different ways. I was essentially an ambassador for what the school is and what it stands for. On the field, it is a similar situation. I have to find ways to communicate to my teammates, coaches and referees effectively, especially since I am a captain this year.
EF: I was somewhat kidding, but I know you were a great communicator on tours and in information sessions, so that does not surprise me. I know after work you would head down to the pitch to train, even though there were not many of your teammates around. Do you think those extra hours helped make the transition to preseason any easier?
LL: Yeah I tried to go down to the field everyday and do at least some kind of workout. It was definitely difficult to get myself motivated to workout because none of my teammates had stayed this summer. However, I met some talented soccer players over the summer to workout with. I even played pick up soccer with a lot of the professors here at Colgate, which was pretty neat. I definitely think those extra hours helped make the transition into preseason easier.
EF: The 2019 Women’s World Cup was this summer and the United States
defended its title. I know we had fun watching matches and talking about the World Cup in the Office of Admission, but I’m curious to hear how you might learn from watching the highest level of competition?
LL: Watching the 2019 World Cup was
definitely one of the highlights of my summer. I grew up watching women’s and men’s soccer. Watching soccer has a great influence on the player I am today. As a young child you watch these players and try to be like them — trying these players skills, wearing their jerseys and so on. I still watch soccer to this day to gain a perspective on the game and to continue learning.
EF: So now you’ve welcomed teammates back and it is suddenly senior year. Has it felt different so far?
LL: It honestly feels the same. It is my last year to play soccer at a collegiate level and my last chance to win a Patriot League Championship for Colgate; I don’t think it all has really hit me yet.
EF: The early out-of-conference contests have not gone perfectly, three losses at Fairfield, Syracuse and Connecticut, and a thrilling double-overtime draw against Colombia under the lights in the home opener, but heading into the next wave of matches is there anything you think the team can build on to find more consistency?
LL: Yes, of course. I think there are always things to work on, even if we had won all those. Although our record has not reflected it, I look back at each match and feel like we have progressed and accomplished something new. After the first match we fixed our shape and got more organized in the back. Against Columbia, we found ways to score, come back and tie it up in the second half. And against Connecticut, I though we communicated very well. Once we bring all of these aspects and all of our individual talents together, we will be unstoppable this season.
EF: That one against UConn was pretty close to home for you. Was there any extra motivation heading into familiar territory? Did you have family or friends in attendance?
LL: Well, I don’t feel like there was extra motivation for this match in particular. I feel like I am motivated for every match and I have the expectation to win every match. But, some of my family, family friends and my high school coach came to watch me play. Also, I was playing against a girl who was on my high school soccer team. It was cool talk to her and everyone after it ended.
EF: Wow, that’s really cool that you had so many supporters on and off the pitch for that away contest. I gotta ask, how did it feel to score?
LL: It felt great. I mean…who doesn’t love scoring?
EF: I find it really cool how leadership roles shift in such a short period of time in college athletics. Have you thought of players who helped you make the jump to NCAA competition and course work when working with younger players new to the team and Colgate?
LL: When I was a freshman, my upperclassman did a great job of setting the example of how to balance academics and varsity athletics at a collegiate level. So, I think back to them when I am helping the younger players new to the team and Colgate. I also think of the great athletic department we have at Colgate and how everyone is always so willing to help if you are ever struggling balancing schoolwork and athletics.
EF: At the end of the year, you will be able to look back and feel proud of the season if…
LL: If I gave it my all and if we won a patriot league championship.