Looking back after finishing up our fifth season under new management, the Women’s program had plenty of hurdles this year to overcome but was able to still manage to secure 2nd place in the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania’ Women’s Division. Our 2020-2021 season was hard to start up due to the long pause because of Covid-19. With that being said, we lost players due to moving for jobs, some players paused being active and playing due to their upcoming wedding, and some players were starting their lives and having a family, all wonderful things we were so happy for our players as individuals but caused us to lose committed players for the full division season. We also suffered some major injuries that required surgery and again players with no return to our full division season.
With these life hurdles occurring on our team, we had a larger turn over then past years when it came to new players and fresh blood. We had four players fresh out of college join the team as great additions, and a total of 7 new players all together, where in the past we had around 3. It was a big transition year for the team, and we are grateful that the hard work we put into recruiting players and keeping our current ones very committed has paid off to help us still finish top of the table. We finished off our season with 10 wins, 2 draws and 2 loses. The winning team in the Women’s USL division suffered two losses this season, one of them being against us. That being said, we feel very confident moving into next fall. It’s been really nice seeing not only the new players, but the young players take initiative with the team and on the field. We are already working towards more players and have many new recruits joining us for summer league as a try out to see if they are a fit for our team moving forward.
Within the past five years of new management the Women’s program here at UGH has definitely taken a positive turn for the better. The team has placed top three in the past three years in the league. We have a very committed group that shows up weekly and enjoys playing year-round in our off season (Winter and Summer) leagues as well. With our very committed group, not only have they been enjoying each other’s company playing, they’ve pulled off very successful fundraisers as well to keep costs affordable for the squad. They are looking to continue these as well in the coming Fall in a post Covid world. We are definitely excited to see how the program and team takes off in the coming year and looking forward to a normal 2021-2022 season in the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania this Fall.
A STATEMENT FROM STEVE PAUL, COACH:
This season has been one of the most challenging since I have been coach.
We started off losing 2 veteran starters in the first 3 games with season ending injuries, another veteran starter moved away mid-season along with weddings, babies etc.,.so the recruiting process was going on throughout the entire season to fill voids with quite a bit of success. We filled voids with younger players that fit right into our system which enabled our winning ways. We fell short of winning the league by one game.
The atmosphere that we have created around this women’s team is one that makes it quite easy to fill voids since the program, personality and success of the team draws players to our squad without much of a sales pitch.
I want to thank the entire team, players and parents alike for all the support throughout the season. Also a big thanks to Michelle for being a terrific manager and recruiter.