The women’s soccer team has yet to allow a single goal to be scored against them this season in neither their season opener draw nor their back-to-back wins. Class of 2016’s defensive back, Jessica Leffers, has played a crucial role in these early season shut-outs. Since the graduation of All-Landmark, defense woman, Caroline McDowell ‘14 , Leffers, a Dean’s list, psychology major from Germantown, Maryland has stepped up as one of the leaders on the team’s defensive unit. While the team is composed of a young back line, they have along with their goalkeepers, Lexi Rudolph and Liz Stradtman, allowed only 19 shots against them in three games while their Gophers offense has managed an effort of 34 shots in three games. According to Leffers, the backline “works really well together and there is a lot of communication…we always drop in and have each other’s backs.”
Some new preparative measures the team’s head coach Tati Korba has taken include the use of a defensive belt during the team’s training sessions. This belt has been used by many other college programs nationwide and works to keep the shape of the defensive line by tying the four backs together. The belt forces the line to fall into proper position when other members of the line step up to play the ball. While Leffers questions whether or not her coaches are using the new equipment just to laugh at their struggled movements, she admits that it has been extremely helpful. Moving forward with the season, Leffers is optimistic about the team’s expectation for more shutouts. “We’re just looking really solid,” states Leffers.
Off the field, Leffers is a hard-working psychology student. This summer, she participated in a prestigious internship at Johns Hopkins in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit. Her work there included surveying the effects of different drugs on an individual’s decision making. “It was a great experience and gave me insight on possible career paths after I complete my education,” Leffers said. She hopes to either be a psychology professor or conduct research in the field of psychology.