The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

Nor'easter News

The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

Nor'easter News

The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

Nor'easter News

Women’s soccer heading to playoffs with first-year coach Stueck

The regular season is over, and the UNE women’s soccer team is shifting its focus to the beginning of the CCC playoff tournament. Following a 1-1 tie Tuesday night at Endicott, the team finished the season with a record of 7-4-5 and will be the #4 seed in the postseason.
Photo taken from UNE women’s soccer Instagram.

The Nor’easters had a split season, but it is fair to say that first-year coach AJ Stueck has done a great job taking over the team. They came out of the gates firing on all cylinders as their first loss wasn’t until the eighth game of the season, suggesting that coach Stueck had the team prepared from the start. 

“He works hard to scout and make sure we know what our opponents are like,” said midfielder Emma Christopher. “I think the team really appreciates his preparedness and consistency.”

Despite some recent losses, coach Stueck is enthused with how the team has been playing and the work ethic of each player.

“I’ve very much enjoyed my time coaching at UNE this fall,” he said. “The team has been fun, positive, and consistently brings an amazing effort.” 

Learning how to play for a new coach is always a process that challenges players to better themselves and how they approach every practice and every game. It often takes a team some time to adjust to a new style of coaching and feedback, but it’s clear that Coach Stueck has made this transition as easy as possible. 

“Coach Stueck brings a fun energy to games and practice,” said Christopher. “I enjoy how supportive he is of our academic lives. He seems to genuinely care about our lives and well-being, which I am very appreciative of.”

The skill of each player, combined with an overall great work ethic, has led to a successful season thus far. The women have been impressive on all sides of the field and in all aspects of the game. When asked what has excited him the most about the team so far, Coach Stueck said in an email interview, 

“I’ve been very impressed with our team’s talent and ability to score and create goals. We are dangerous offensively and are also difficult to score on defensively. I am also impressed with our team’s depth, we have competition in every area of the field.” 

It takes performance on both sides of the game to win. A team connected on offense and defense is a threat to win every game it plays. Because of UNE’s ability to rely on their play at both ends of the field, they look primed for a strong run in this year’s CCC playoffs. 

Stueck is optimistic about the chance for postseason play. 

“Our goals are to seek to get better every day as soccer players, students, and people. We are focused on enjoying our time together and believe playoff victories are in our future if we remain positive, focused, and excited,” Coach Stueck said in an email interview.

The CCC playoffs begin this Saturday, October 28th, when the Nor’easters host Gordon College. 

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