With 13 games behind them and five games remaining in the regular season, the 5-8-1 Lady Vikings have won five out of there last six, and still have a fighting chance for a crack at the post-season, after starting of the 2011 season 0-8 with one tie.
Former Mercer tri-athelete a first year coach, Michelle Ogborn-Haywood was unable to earn a win in the first eight games of her inaugural season. The Lady Vikings dropped some close games, including a loss against Rockville, MD on September 11. In that game, the Lady Vikings lost due to a last second goal that ended the game at 2-3, Rockville. Other games weren’t as close, notably the season opener on August 27 where the Lady Vikings lost 8-0 in Rochester, NY to Monroe of the Bronx. During these first nine games Mercer averaged 1.25 goals a game but was giving up an average of 3.5 goals a game.
“Coach is doing a good job in her first year, shes a great motivator, and she always makes us work hard,” said second year forward Amanda Lutz (#7).
On Saturday September 17, Mercer played our neighbors to the South, Gloucester County College. Wing and team captain Nicole Tarfow scored two goals that night and forward Amanda Lutz added one of her own, but it wasn’t enough to capture that elusive first victory. Starting Mercer goalie and first year player Jess Larsen injured her knee on a play where she was red carded for tackling outside the box.
“Injury has played a huge role in the first half of our season, but we are putting those games behind us, we have a roster full of healthy, aggressive, athletes.” said Ogborn-Haywood.
Injury might be one of the causes of the girls early woes because nine players out of twenty-four that were active at the beginning of the season were at one point on the injured reserved list so far in the 2011 season, eight of them starters.
Injury was so much of a problem that Haywood got five women that weren’t on the roster at the beginning of the season, to join the team to fill out the roster so the women could be aloud to compete. Showana Paul, and Marelys “Muf” Williams are basketball players and expected to play for coach Mike Tenglia’s basketball team in November. Samantha Soto, Roselyn Gonzalez, and Susana Herrara, of Hightstown who is the daughter of former pro soccer player Giriemo Herrara, round out the five new players.
In their debut game with the Vikings they helped secure Mercer’s first win in an 8-0 blow out against Camden County College in front of about 50 cheering Mercer fans.