Detail

Women's Soccer: Setting Their Standard

Milan Moses moves the ball forward. Moses is the top USD scorer returning from the 2018 season.Milan Moses, who led the Torero women's soccer team with 13 goals, returns to a 2019 team that feels ready to turn the corner and is seeking a big 2019 season.

As a coach, you don't take over a team, step in the locker room, wave a magic wand and immediately the players understand your philosophy, create a winning culture and stack up victories. It takes time.

After two seasons, Lou Lieberman thinks the time has arrived for San Diego's women's soccer team to turn a corner. The Toreros went 8-11 in Lieberman's first season, then 8-9-1 in 2018.

"It's an exciting time for USD soccer," said Lieberman. "We've had two years of building what we wanted."

Asked what she wanted to establish, Lieberman said, "A standard, a culture of excellence and wanting these young women to feel extremely confident in what they're doing. Those things are not just on the field, but in themselves on a daily basis."
 
Bottom line, Lieberman and returning leading scorer Milan Moses think that attitude will translate to victories.
 
Said Lieberman, "We always want to increase winning, increase our ranking and make the NCAA Tournament. Those are all on our vision board for this season."
 
Added Moses, "Our expectation, most definitely, is to win the conference and go to the tournament."
 
It helps when you return nine starters that came oh so close to a winning season. The Toreros played five overtime games, going 1-3-1 in extra minutes. Two of the OT losses were against the teams that finished one and two in the West Coast Conference, BYU and Santa Clara.
 
Nor does it hurt when you're blessed with one of the league's most dangerous scorers. Moses led the Toreros with 13 goals and 29 points.
 
"She's a handful for other teams," said Lieberman. "It's hard to mark her. She's a stronger, mental kid. She doesn't like to let people push her around. She's a gamer. She wants to get in and make an impact."
 
A redshirt senior who transferred last season from San Diego State, Moses feels scorers must have a different personality trait.
 
"As a forward, you always have to have a little edge to you, just a little more grit," she said. "The pressure is on you to score."
 
Redshirt senior Amber Michel has started the past three years in goal.
 
"She flies," said Lieberman. "She's a great shot stopper. She reads the game and can distribute."
 
The other returning starters include defenders Devyn Kelsey and Kelley Carusa, middies Sami Fairweather and Marley Walke, along with middie/defenders Emma Barrow and Mina Ghazizadeh, plus middie/forward Katie Lapomarda.
 
The team has been infused with eight freshman recruits. Sydney Hopkins and Bekah Valdez enrolled in the spring semester and Lieberman likes their chances of making an immediate impact.
 
Look for Tennessee transfer Jamie Goralski to land minutes at midfield.
 
The Toreros begin the 2019 campaign with a home exhibition tonight versus Arizona at 6 p.m. and will open the regular season Aug. 23, at home against Long Island University-Brooklyn.

Moses says the impact Lieberman makes goes far beyond wins and losses.
 
"She's amazing to play for," said Moses. "She brings a great energy. What I love about her is the relationship we have off the field. She's someone you can talk to. It's not just soccer, soccer, soccer. She's inspiring. When she talks, it just makes you fired up."

— USD Athletics

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