Today: Jul 16, 2024

Freshman Nickerson a key contributor for Women’s soccer

Andrew Anastasio – Sports Writer

In her first season with the Owls, freshman goalkeeper Elizabeth Nickerson ranks 18th among NCAA Division II goalkeepers with a 0.57 goals against average.

“I try not to think about that stuff,” Nickerson said. “I try to play every game doing the best I can and making the saves that I need to make. I try to stay consistent while just playing the game.”

Growing up in her hometown of Seaford, Va., Nickerson played on her high school soccer team at York High. There she captained her team in both her junior and senior seasons while earning All-District honors.

Nickerson said she chose to come to Southern not only because of what she heard about the program, but the interest the program expressed in her during scouting.

“The coaches did an awesome job recruiting me,” Nickerson said. “The girls are awesome, and I enjoyed the campus. Everything about this team, I love everything about it.”

With the season recently ending, Nickerson finished the year with 12 appearances (7-4-1) while racking up an overall total of 43 saves at a .843 save percentage.

Head coach Adam Cohen said he’s been impressed with the impact Nickerson has made on the team.

“I think she’s off to a great start,” Cohen said. “She’s a freshman, and she’s done very well for us this year.”

Nickerson stepped in immediately, making her first start of her collegiate career on Aug. 31 in the Owls season opener at Philadelphia University. In that game, Nickerson recorded her first of six total shutouts in 2012, with five saves to aid the Owls in a 1-0 victory.

Junior mid-fielder/forward Suzane Pires said having a teammate like Nickerson has been an honor.

“She’s very good,” Pires said. “She’s a freshman who stepped up and has done very well. She’s been helping us win games, while playing a very important role on our team. She’s up there amongst other goalies on the NCAA leader boards in saves. Overall, I’m proud of her.”

One of the more notable performances put forth by Nickerson this past season was the shutout she recorded against Saint Michael’s College on Oct. 6. Despite being on the road, Nickerson recorded seven saves to keep the Purple Knights off the board, in a thrilling 1-0 double overtime victory.

Nickerson prevented another double overtime defeat back on Sept. 12, where she capitalized on her one save opportunity in the second overtime to aid the Owls in a 0-0 tie.

Cohen said her work ethic has instilled her teammates confidence in her.

“The team sees how hard she is working,” Cohen said. “She’s earned respect through her work rate.”

With playoffs just around the corner, Pires said the team has the confidence in Nickerson to lead them to a championship, despite only being a freshman.

“I believe in this team and her so much,” Pires said. “I think we can achieve so much together, including winning the championship, or going further than Southern has ever gone before. She’s going to be a big reason because of that.”

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