Blue Hens thriving in third season under Mike Barroqueiro
Managing Sports Editor
The Blue Hens women’s soccer team had a tough 2018 season, finishing with a record of 4-12-2. They were hammered with injuries, only housing 16 healthy players at the start of CAA play.
This season has been a different story.
The team is 9-6 overall and 4-2 in the CAA. The nine wins are the highest in a season since 2013, and the four conference wins are the highest since 2011. They currently stand in third place in the CAA. They battled top seeded Hofstra to the wire, but with the game tied 2-2, Hofstra scored the game winning goal with two minutes and change left.
“We were good enough last year to win more games,” Head Coach Mike Barroqueiro said. “This year, we’re just managing the games better than we have in the past.”
The Blue Hens have seen improvements both offensively and defensively. The team has seven shutouts so far—the most since 2012. They have also surpassed their goals from a season ago, going from 12 in 2018 to 20 already this season. In 2018, only two girls scored at least two goals. This season, there are seven, three of which have three or more goals, including Sarah D’Appolonia, who leads the team in goals with four.
Barroqueiro has laid down the foundation for what he wants this program to be.
“Right now, we’re in a new era for Delaware women’s soccer. This is my third season, my staff has been with me now for three seasons, so the foundation is set,” Barroqueiro said. “The girls are coming into practice everyday and they know exactly what the expectations are.”
The success of the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT), including their most recent World Cup Championship, has given the Blue Hens a spark.
“They’re an empowered group,” Barroqueiro said of the USWNT. “I want our kids to have that feeling of empowerment, that they can step on the field with anybody, compete against anyone and if they really want something, it’s theirs to be had, you just have to be willing to get out on the field and work for it.”