Written by: Matthew Sokol – Campbell blog contributor
The 2016 campaign has started for the Campbell Women’s Soccer squad and there are 12 new faces representing the future. Two of those twelve freshmen, goalkeepers Delaney Beck and Natalya Marcove, hold down the fort between the posts.
Beck, the Bakersfield, Calif. native, played for the South Valley Soccer Club reaching the final four of the United States Club Soccer National Cup. She posted her first appearance for the Fighting Camels on August 10th, recording 19:34 minutes against UNC Greensboro.
“I am trying to stay mentally strong and tuned in, and it is a lot different than club play,” said Beck. “The upperclassmen are always tuned in, and they always give 100 percent.
Beck and Marcove are working together as freshman goalies to better the team. Both goalies are working hard at practice to become better in defending the net.
“Natayla and I are constantly pushing each other to get better,” Beck notes. “We keep each other in check, and it is a friendly competition but it is still a competition.”
The Campbell Women’s Soccer team welcomes 10 freshmen to the fold, in addition to the two goalies on the squad. Five freshman that have earned some early playing time include Alexa Genas, Rosie O’Neal, Callie Beckwith, Sydney Towns, and Kelly Ann Evans.
O’Neal and Evans have both scored one goal and one assist while Genas and Beckwith each earned an assist and Towns has played in four of the first five games. Associate head coach Samar Azem has really worked on getting her goalies acclimated to the college level.
“With freshman goalkeepers, there is a lot of responsibility on their shoulders,” said Azem. “They are learning a new system and a new backline so our goalkeepers job is to protect the team and the players that are in front of them. Part of that is enhanced in the training environment and the level of training we put them through.”
The starting goalkeeper for the Campbell Women’s Soccer squad is freshman Natalya Marcove. The Paso Robles, Calif. native was named All-PAC 8 goalkeeper of the year during her junior and senior seasons in high school along with being team captain.
Campbell Women’s Soccer head coach Stuart Horne has watched his starting freshman goalkeeper progress since the start of the season and notices her steady growth.
“Natalya is doing well, and they are all in the same boat,” said Horne, commenting on the freshmen class. “They are all getting their good and bad moments with everything in-between. She [Natalya] is right on pace, and each game she’s getting more experienced.”
Marcove has recorded five starts for Campbell with three wins under her belt. On August 19, Campbell defeated Davidson, 1-0 along with two more wins against American 4-1 and a 4-0 win over CSU Bakersfield over Labor Day Weekend.
“I am getting used to the faster pace of the game and the goal is to improve the foundation that I have to be the best I can be in net,” said Marcove.
Marcove has a 1.38 goals against average this season, recording 22 saves through five matches. Azem continues to develop her freshman goal keepers during training sessions to foster on field success for the Fighting Camels.
“Natalya and Delaney thrive under pressure, and they both want to be successful,” said Azem. “With that being said, there is definitely a maturing process for them – knowing that on one hand they thrive under that pressure, but on the other hand, they want to be successful quickly and early. The progress is being made, it just is going to take time.”
As freshman goalkeepers, Marcove and Beck are working together to protect the net for the rest of the team. Both players are also working to adjust to the rigors of college soccer.
“As the season progresses, I want to keep on connecting well with the team and maintaining a good bond as a unit,” said Marcove. “I want to make sure that all of our goals are the same. I have been preparing for college play since my junior year of high school and being here at Campbell, it feels like a relief to begin college.”
The Fighting Camels returns to action this Friday at VMI, looking to build on Sunday’s 4-0 shutout against CSU Bakersfield.