CORNING - After graduating 12 seniors from a team that went 7-6-1 last season, 2019 will be a learning experience for this year's Corning Hawks girls soccer team.
Corning head coach Julie Pierce is instilling a simple motto for the squad for its growth throughout the campaign.
“We have a ‘win the day’ mentality going,” said Pierce. “Win the drill, win the skill, win the day and in the end we’re hopeful that will translate to success at the end of the season.”
If Corning is going to have a successful season, it’s going to be the result of mastering the small details.
“It’s all the little tiny things,” Pierce said. “I really believe it’s a commitment to doing the little things well. It’s being relentless in pursuit of little technical things like passing and just being committed to it.”
Youth and inexperience is prevalent throughout the roster as only four seniors return.
“We lost a core of really incredible athletes,” said Pierce. “Not all of them soccer players, actually most not soccer players, but just really good athletes.”
Despite a combined 11 freshmen and sophomores on the team, Pierce relishes the opportunity to mold the team into a winner.
“You have to work hard and it’s fun," Pierce said. "You don’t get to be complacent because it’s a different world, different girls and different everything. This group of kids are outstanding and they work hard and they’re coachable. They’re willing to work.”
Corning does return some players on defense, as well as attacker Ashlee Volpe.
Volpe, only a ninth-grader, played a key role in last year’s squad as a contributor on a playoff team.
While Volpe is a huge talent, success in soccer is reliant upon working as a team offensively.
“[Volpe’s] special, but she only gets to be special if everyone around her is special in their own way” said Pierce. “She only gets to be special if everybody shows up. She is a humble, hard working kid. She doesn’t have an ounce of conceit in her which makes her teammates buy into that even more.”
The senior leadership that includes returning seniors Abby Dejneka, Charlotte Nevins, Alyssa Tenny and Gianna Chicarielli who will be heavily relied upon to teach the younger kids the ropes.
“I think because we are so young, it’s really important that everyone is doing their job and showing up every single day,” said Dejneka. “It’s definitely a season of growth, but I think we’ll be fine once the postseason rolls around.”
Corning opens its season 10 a.m. Thursday in Binghamton.