BY DAN MCNEE
CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA – It’s not easy to crack an NCAA roster full-time as a freshman in any sport.
Zoe Zyta not only cracked the University of Charleston women’s soccer team starting roster, she ran away with the No. 1 goalkeeper position. In fact, Zyta had such an outstanding first year for the NCAA Division II club that she was named to the Mountain East Conference’s All-Freshman Team.
“My freshman season was great, I feel like I did well and that I came in prepared and fit which was helpful,” said Zyta, a Britton native. “I did not feel that much pressure. I was very excited that I was getting to play right off the hop, and being a goalkeeper you have to handle a lot of pressure, so I am now used to it.
“I just made sure I gave it 110 per cent every time.”
Zyta started all 18 games for the Golden Eagles, who finished with a 10-7-1 record. Zyta recorded five shutouts and a .829 save percentage, while allowing only 20 goals all season.
The UC Golden Eagles battled to the MEC semifinals against rival West Virginia school, Wesleyan College, but fell 1-0 in a hard-fought heartbreaker.
“It was disappointing to fall short and lose in the semifinals of course, but we are a young team and did very well,” said Zyta, who is majoring in Psychology. “I am going to continue to work my hardest to hopefully achieve other honours in the years to come.”
Next up for Zyta and her UC teammates is resuming their fitness and weight training following the Christmas break. The NCAA Division II spring season commences in March, when the Golden Eagles will go back to work and start the process all over again.
Zyta is in the first year of a four-year program en route to her degree, and added that she is considering returning to play for her former club, the Erin Mills Eagles, in the summer.
“I really am enjoying being at the University of Charleston,” said Zyta. “The experience of being on the women’s soccer team is great and I wouldn’t want to be a part of any other team.”