Dayton's Colleen Williams advances the ball past Ohio State defenders in the NCAA Tournament.
June 17, 2011
DaytonFlyers.com Feature Story by
Nick Robbe, Athletics Communication Intern
Although the field she plays on has temporarily changed, the amount of talent Colleen Williams puts on display does not.
The reigning Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year has earned a spot on the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) National Team of the Week for the third consecutive week as a member of the F.C. Bucks, based in greater-Philadelphia.
Williams was unaware that she had been named to the team and called the achievement unexpected.
“You play because you love it, you play to have fun, and you play to win,” Williams said. “I did not expect it.”
For Williams, the overall experience with the F.C. Bucks has been positive.
“It’s been great, (it’s good to) keep a foot on the ball, the coach (Ed Leigh) has been like a second dad to us and it’s a chance to stay in shape,” Williams said.
Williams has been playing with the same teammates including fellow Flyer Alysha Mallon for a number of years now. Team cohesion is a key theme for the unit.
In addition to Williams and Mallon playing for Dayton, groups of girls play for their respecitve schools like La Salle, Princeton, and Villanova.
Williams and her teammates compete against teams from across the nation.
Williams said that the competition comes from other players like her who are just looking to find a team to play on in order to stay active in preparing for the fall.
She has prepared for the fall in a big way by contributing five points in six games played for the club team. Coach Ed Leigh of the Bucks has given her very high praise.
“She is a warrior in the midfield, we usually play her outside but she has been moved into the middle because of injury,” Leigh said. “She has been our best player.”
When Leigh looks for players during tryouts, he said that Williams fits the mold of the type of player that he looks for when building his team.
During the offseason it’s a big help to players when they can find a team to play on in order to keep working at their craft. Flyer head coach Mike Tucker wants his players to take advantage.
“Every opportunity they get to play at a high level is just preparation for season,” Tucker said. “But you have to temper that with is not overplaying.”
Tucker says regardless of the statistics she generates – voted the A-10's top offensive player in 2010 after leading the conference in goals (18) and assists (12) – the rising junior will continue to improve.
“She will get better without a doubt and that doesn’t always necessarily mean that she’s going to score that many goals or that many assists,” Tucker said. “She has continued to evolve and the thing about Colleen is that she could score no goals for a season and be perfectly happy if we’re winning every game."
With Williams, it is all about competing and getting better as she moves toward her goal of playing professionally Tucker added.