Today: Apr 14, 2024

Women’s soccer look to improve on last season

PAT LONGOBARDISports Reporter
In 2010, Southern women’s soccer team played in 12 of their 17 games and scored two goals or less.
This season, the Owls will try to close out games better with the experience of their veteran team.
Southern finished 8-6-3 overall, 6-6-3 in conference last season, and finished No. 10 on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s regional poll. The Owls will be led by senior forward Alison Ditolla and graduate goalkeeper Jacquelyn Fede as team captains this season.
“I have learned the importance of hard work, the value of hard work and the value of team chemistry,” head coach Adam Cohen said, who enters his seventh season heading the Owls. “We need to concede goals. We hope the experience translates into more wins.”
Southern will lose six players — five seniors and one graduate on the roster.
Ditolla (Trumbull, Conn.) will serve as captain for the second straight season. She scored two goals and six points overall last season in 15 games, and has taken part in 52 matches in her career.
Fede (North Haven, Conn.), transferred to Southern a year ago from the University of Rhode Island. She spent three seasons at Rhode Island, playing in 34 games. Fede has also had some season where she has been redshirted, as in 2010, her first season with the Owls.
“Alison was MVP of our team last season,” Cohen said. “She is a leader by example. They (captains) both compliment each other with their strengths.”
The Owls will play seven road games and eight home games this season. Southern will open the season with three straight road games, starting on Friday, Sept. 2. The Owls will play Queens College and Mercy College in the Franklin Pierce Classic at Rindge, N.H. Southern’s first home game is Friday, Sept. 9 against Southern New Hampshire at 7 p.m. Southern will hold Senior Night on Wednesday, Oct. 26 against Saint Rose. The Owls close the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Saint Anselm.
Southern has still not made the NCAA Tournament under Cohen, coming closest in 2008 with a 12-5-2 record.
Southern was 3-2-2 at home and 3-4-1 on the road, and 2-0 on neutral fields in 2010. Mallico, a senior, was the leading scorer with eight goals in 16 games and 17 points overall. Southern had five overtime games last season, four in double overtime.
The team was also honored with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Award, while 14 student-athletes were named to the Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Key wins last season included a 3-2 win at home over Assumption. Jenna Mallico’s goal with 1:31 remaining overcame a 2-0 deficit at halftime. Laura Barberia led a 2-1 win at home over Saint Anselm in double overtime. Mallico also scored in overtime in a 1-0 win at Adelphi.
Southern was voted eighth in the Northeast-10 Conference Coaches’ preseason poll.
The College of Saint Rose won the Northeast-10 regular season and conference championship titles last season and finished with a mark of 23-1-1 overall, 15-0 in conference, losing in the Final Four.
In the NSCAA preseason poll, defending national champion Grand Valley State is top ranked, along with UC-San Diego and Saint Rose. Three Northeast-10 Conference teams appear in the preseason poll, Saint Rose, Franklin Pierce (No. 18) and AIC (No. 25). The Northeast-10 Conference tournament begins on Nov. 1.
“We have the ability to make nationals,” Cohen said. “It is just a question of outworking the opponent to get there.”

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