WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finishing last season unbeaten in five of its final seven games and advancing to the semifinals of the 2017 Landmark Conference Women's Soccer Championship, the Catholic women's soccer team officially began its 2018 season on Saturday with the team's first two practices.
"Our first two days have gone well," said head coach JP Sousa. "Everyone is healthy, working hard and excited to play. We have nine new women joining our established group of returning players, so it's fun for everyone to get to know each other, including the coaching staff. The collective attitude of the team is very positive."
The Cardinals took the field for the first time on Saturday morning at 8 a.m., before returning for a workout at 5 p.m.
Beginning his 15th season and looking to recapture the Landmark Conference title and get back to the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship for the first time since 2015 when the Cardinals advanced to the second round, Sousa is cautiously optimistic about his team's chances this season.
"It is too soon to make any predictions, but I think time will tell for this group," said Sousa. "We have two scrimmages coming up which will give everyone a chance to play. After those games, we can begin to put the pieces of the puzzle together."
Catholic opens the season at home on Friday, August 31 against York (Pa.) at 4 p.m.
The Cardinals finished 10-7-1 a year ago, including 4-3 in the Landmark. The team returns All-Landmark Conference First Team selection, junior Elizabeth Johnson, who finished second in the conference with 12 goals and 28 points.