ACC women’s soccer wins opener



August 24, 2015 - 12:00 AM

After the Red Devils finished up their two-game preseason schedule with zero goals, coach Jeremy McGinnis made his goal for Saturday simple: Get on the board.
So before the regular season kicked off, the third-year head coach had his forwards and outside backs arrive at practice early to work on creating more goal opportunities.
Allen Community College’s women’s soccer team got the message loud and clear as evidenced by its season-opening 3-1 victory over Rose State Community College.
“If you train to be better, then you’ll get those results,” McGinnis said. “You can’t just lace up your shoes and expect to be a superstar. And the girls came in early and put in work.”
But McGinnis’ extra workout sessions last week didn’t just pay off, they paid off quickly.
Within the first 10 minutes of the contest, the Red Devils notched a couple goals to put the visiting Raiders on the hot seat early on. Rebecca Yusuf, a freshman from Queensland, Australia, scored in the 4th minute off a give-and-go from sophomore Payton Huckabay.
But not to be out done, sophomore Madison Evans found the back of the net just five minutes later after Allen’s offensive attack maintained an intense pressure on Rose State’s backline.
McGinnis said it was important for his team, which lost 12 members from the 2014 squad, to get on top quickly in order to set the pace and ease the pressure off some of the freshmen.
“We talked about who wants to step up and find a way to score goals,” he said.
Although Allen stayed quiet for the remainder of the first half, it came out firing once again following the break. In the 57th minute, Rachel Nincehelser added the Red Devils’ third goal of the day.
Nincehelser led the team in goals last year.
The key to Allen’s last two goals, according to McGinnis, was 5-foot-4 Shekinah Flores. The freshman outside back assisted on both Evans’ and Nincehelser’s goals.
“You see her and she’s one of the smallest girls out there and she can play against the biggest girls out there,” McGinnis said. “She was playing the ball through channels, combination plays … the biggest thing we’ve been working on were those combination plays and she was big with that.”
But the biggest relief for Allen was the success of the inexperienced backline, which is composed of all freshmen. McGinnis said he saw how talented that defensive group was during practice and the exhibitions and hoped those skills would carry over to the regular season.
They did.
“Chloe West and Sadie Harper are just lock down,” McGinnis said of his two freshman backline players.
“I can always count on them. I call them ‘Old Faithful.’ They take care of business.”
Allen’s defense allowed just one goal, which came in the 69th minute. Other than that, the Red Devils’ youthful backline played shutdown defense in their debut on the field.
With the victory, Allen got the quick start to the season that it wanted.
McGinnis’ goal of making the playoffs for the third straight year for the first time in school history relies on building momentum and doing it early, he said.
“It’s huge,” McGinnis said. “I’ve been really, really hard on them. I’ve been pushing them and I hadn’t really seen the right result that I wanted. But I saw it (Saturday).”

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