Now that the women’s squash season is over, all Rachael Goh wants to do is be an All-American.
She and five of her teammates will get a chance to do so for the second straight year at the upcoming College Squash Association Individual Championships in Amherst, Mass., this weekend.
Representing the men’s team at the Individuals after its Hoehn Cup victory will be senior captain Thomas Mattsson and junior Dan Greenberg, both past participants in the event.
“Especially with the CSA, the players keep getting better and better every year,” said Yarden Odinak, who became a second-team All-American at last year’s Individuals. “So our positions in the lineup may be different, but we’ll have just as difficult of a time competing [at Individuals].”
The women head into the weekend after finishing in fifth place at the Howe Cup earlier this week.
“We felt we played really well in spite of our first round loss and that just gives us more confidence going into Individuals,” Odinak said.
“Having momentum gives you a lot more confidence in yourself,” Goh added.
Odinak knows a thing or two about momentum, having won eight straight matches and 22 straight games heading into the final weekend of play. However, she sees a lot more room for improvement than one might expect.
“I had a bit of a rocky season this year,” Odinak said. “But I feel like I’m playing better than ever after the Howe Cup. When you do really well one season, it’s hard to keep up with the same kind of standards.”
What sticks out about the Amherst-bound contingent of women is that five of its six players, including Goh and Odinak, are juniors. The junior class has had to provide leadership for a seniorless squad.
“We all have different characters and personalities,” Goh agreed. “But we all get along really well together.”
“It’s just so natural for all of us to be together,” Odinak said. “I think this year more than any year we really bonded. There’s nobody older than us, and we’ve kind of directed things the way we want to.
“Honestly, looking at the older classes that have passed and all our younger classes I would not want to be with any other grade or group of people,” she added.
Odinak and company know they will need all the cohesion they can get in Amherst.
“It can get really intense there,” Goh said.
The photo caption has been updated to reflect that Rachel Goh is pictured, not Yarden Odinak.