Women’s Soccer: Head coach Patrick Baker looks back on the spring season, hopeful for a strong fall campaign

Despite the premature end to their season, head coach Patrick Baker is proud of how the team did this year as it was another winning season and a strong showing in conference play.


Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics.

Richard Pereira, Sports Editor

FAU women’s soccer head coach Patrick Baker reflected on the spring season, complimented the players who performed highly, and expressed hope for a much stronger campaign when the team returns for the fall.

The team went 5-4-2 while going 4-1-1 in conference play, as they suffered an early exit in the Conference USA tournament after a 2-1 loss to Southern Miss in the quarterfinals.

“They played fairly direct and keep driving balls into our backline; we weren’t clean enough technically on the night and gave up too many corner kicks in the first half,” Baker said. “I thought we showed character in getting a goal back and then applied pretty good pressure in the final minutes, but just couldn’t get the equalizer.”

Despite the premature end to their season, Baker does not think of the team’s overall performance as underachieving. He is proud of how the team did this year as it was another winning season and a strong showing in conference play.

“We didn’t obtain our ultimate goals, but we were in a number of good positions throughout the spring,” Baker said. “If people knew what we were dealing with per injuries and lack of depth, our group was resilient and found a way to be successful.”

According to Baker, what had the team greatly improve their play in the conference games was thanks to the first matchups against Utah Valley and the University of South Florida (USF). According to him, they grew a lot from those games as the team was very young and had many first-year players in new positions.

“After COVID, it takes time to come together and that’s what we did. The number of injured players this season was [at] an all-time high and we never became the team we thought we would,” Baker said. “That being said, very proud of what the players that could play did in both training and games. Finishing second in the East was a good accomplishment and we were playing pretty good soccer from Charlotte through FIU down the stretch.”

Individual success was prevalent in the team as redshirt junior midfielder Gi Krstec (First Team), senior forward Miracle Porter and junior defender Amanda Martin (Second Team), senior midfielder Sammy Vitols (Third Team), and goalkeeper Amit Cohen (All-Freshman) received honors from C-USA. Baker was proud of them saying they were deserving of their recognition as he thought there should have been more players from the team who were deserving as well.

“None of the players had ever received C-USA recognition and to have five new players (half of the lineup) be honored by the coaches was great to see,” Baker said. “Each of these young ladies [has] wonderful stories and are looking to improve on their laurels this fall.”

Cohen and redshirt sophomore Cassidy Wasdin shared the spotlight for the starting goalkeeper spot throughout the season. Baker credited them for competing very well as he recognizes the talent the both of them have at the goalkeeper position.

“Both young ladies will be on summer teams and will have additional time to grow and develop,” Baker said. “Cassidy enters her last semester in the fall and will perform like an experienced leader. Amit grew with her first-year experience and wants more in year two. We are blessed to have two high-level keepers.”

Baker said that the team has the top 14 players returning, there will be a very talented 2021 recruiting class, and possible college transfers. According to him, everyone is excited about the potential of what can happen for the fall season.

“We will have some injured players recover over the summer and hopefully be 100% once preseason rolls around,” Baker said. “The 2021 fall schedule is home-heavy and we have proven to be a good side in Boca Raton. Hopefully, that allows us to get off to a very positive start.”

Richard Pereira is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.