By Haley Burnside, Staff Writer
Following a superb performance in a win against the NJIT Highlanders, Olivia Printy was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week on Sept. 12. The freshman goalkeeper on the women’s soccer team was responsible for a six-save shutout, the first shutout for the Jaspers this season and the first in Printy’s career.
“It was her first shutout, so we were definitely hopeful for her,” said head coach Brendan Lawler. “We were pulling for her. Olivia’s been playing great this season. Obviously, coming in as a freshman and getting her spot shows talent.”
Lawler hopes that this award will help Printy to develop more confidence on the field.
“You know, we really haven’t been giving up a lot of goals. Even though our record isn’t where we would like it to be right now, we’ve had a lot of one goal losses, one goal games, and she’s played great in those,” Lawler said. “Hopefully this can just build up confidence going into the conference play.”
Of the 26 members on the women’s soccer team, Printy is one of seven freshman and one of three goalkeepers. But despite her inexperience, Printy’s hard work and dedication made the Rookie of the Week announcement no surprise to her teammate Lauren Barton.
“She’s been doing very well, especially as a freshman stepping in to be a goalkeeper,” said Barton, a senior midfielder. “It’s a very stressful position and she’s been doing awesome. She definitely deserves this recognition for how she’s been playing.”
For Barton, her and her teammates’ feelings towards Printy are the same.
“We are really proud of her,” Barton said. “We just hope she keeps progressing as a player and getting better.”
Despite the achievement being foreseen by her teammates, Printy herself did not expect to receive this honor from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. When she opened a text message from sophomore teammate Caroline Taylor saying the words “rookie of the week,” it surprised her.
“It just made my day ten times better,” Printy said about the text from Taylor.
When asked what the title meant to her, Printy beamed.
“Well, it means a lot,” Printy said. “I definitely was not expecting it. It was a total surprise.
Printy expects the award to boost her play.
“It’s a confidence booster,” Printy said. “It makes me feel pretty good about how I’m playing.”
In the spirit of true sportsmanship, Printy switched the conversation to her comrades on the field.
“It makes me feel good about how the team is playing too,” Printy was quick to add.
“We’re going to keep working hard. I hope we keep on winning,” she said with a gesture to her teammates across the field.
“I want us to make it to the MAAC finals. Maybe even beyond that. That would be fantastic,” she said before running back to the field to continue practice drills.