News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods

September 8, 2006

The Woods suspends college soccer program

Decision made when team came up short of healthy players

TERRE HAUTE — When the 2005 season ended with St. Mary-of-the-Woods hosting the national United State Collegiate Athletic Association women’s soccer tournament and with a relative successful season for the Pomeroys themselves, SMWC coach Mike Aycock said he and his players could have never predicted what transpired Thursday.

SMWC announced that the soccer program would suspend its program for a year, hoping greater roster numbers will harken a return for the sport in the 2007 season.

“They didn’t see it coming, partly because I didn’t see it coming either. We had some kids transfer and we had some injuries,” said Aycock, who noted that some walk-on possibilities didn’t work out either.

Coaches and administration made the decision when the team came up short of enough healthy players to play safely this fall. According to Aycock, the Pomeroys had 11 healthy players available to start the season, the bare minimum needed to field a full team.

“I think it was primarily a safety and morale issue. Being a fairly new program, we’ve played with small numbers before, but when we got better and the schedule got better, we wanted to avoid playing numbers down,” said Aycock on the decision.

Aycock noted that the numbers crunch came to a head just before the season began.

“This really didn’t materialize until this summer. You work as hard as you can to get 13 or 14 people, but a few hard things happened. One very fine young woman [freshman forward Errika Garcia] tore her ACL, for example,” Aycock said.

According to the SMWC news release, the remaining players, who endorsed the decision to suspend play for the 2006 season, will train and play in a competitive indoor league in a small-sided format to continue strengthening their skills.

Aycock said the current seniors will play in an indoor league where the numbers crunch isn’t as severe.

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