High expectations coming into the season for the UNCW women’s soccer

UNCW women's soccer

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Coming into his second season, UNCW head coach Chris Neal already sees a difference in his team.

“You retain knowledge and experience and that allows you to build and to reach different goals and to be a better team,” said Neal. “It’s vastly different from last year. Last year we were a blank canvas and it’s already a piece of art when we came in.”

Neal is not the only person that sees that difference - his players have set lofty goals for the season.

“CAA Championship,” said UNCW sophomore Talia Parrous. “I really want to get a ring. I think that’s the top thing that we have been talking about in the locker room. That’s what we were looking for last year but sadly we didn’t reach it.”

There is good reason for optimism: the Seahawks return 10-of-11 starters from a year ago. That includes goalie Sydney Schneider, who over the summer played in the World Cup for Jamaica.

Coaches and players say Schneider is a different player since her international experience.

“Just the body language, when she steps on the pitch with our players is very different. It brings a different energy,” said Neal.

“I think she’s a lot more comfortable playing at that level,” added senior Baley Edwards. “And coming back and playing here at the college level she has the confidence we need.”

“I feel like I have become more vocal,” said Schneider about her play. “I feel like I have noticed that. But that’s pretty much it.”

Thursday the Seahawks (2-0) host Coastal Carolina at the UNCW Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m.

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