Andrew Anastasio – Sports Writer –
For the second year in a row, the Owls Women’s Soccer team suffered a first round defeat in the Northeast-10 Tournament, ending their season with an overall record of 9-6-3.
“It’s such a competitive conference,” head coach Adam Cohen said. “Every time we play an opponent, it’s going to be a quality opponent and certainly Saint Rose is. I think that moving forward, we want to become even more competitive.”
In the playoff game against College of Saint Rose, the Owls were unable to slow down a Golden Knights offense that scored five goals off of eight shots, en route to a 5-1 victory. Senior defender Brooke Madura not only scored the lone goal for the Owls, she was also accredited for their two total shots on goal.
“The loss was very frustrating, especially since we were all fired up,” junior mid-fielder/forward Suzane Pires said. “We started off playing better than we did the last time we played them. However, after we lost, frustration settled in because we knew we were done right then. We still had chances to get into the NCAA tournament, but unfortunately we didn’t because we didn’t finish high enough in the rankings. ”
Brochu said teamwork was a factor in the Owls’ loss.
“Despite losing, we did have a lot of good things happen to us in that game,” Brochu said. “We talked about things we needed to get done, and several players bought into that and worked really hard in that game. However, this year we lacked a little bit of team chemistry. We need to keep building on that. We need to learn to play for each other, and once Saint Rose scored that first goal, it was a little defeating and we seemed to let it get to us.”
This past season, the Owls as a team finished their season amassing 19 goals, which ranked them twelfth in the Northeast-10 Conference. Pires led the team in both goals with six, and points with 16.
“As a team, I thought we did well,” Pires said. “I thought we were going to go further than we did. If we finished in a better spot in the conference, I think we could’ve reached the semi-finals.”
Freshman goalie Elizabeth Nickerson finished the 2012 season ranked amongst NE-10 leaders in several categories. Her .857 save percentage and 0.61 goals against average, ranked her third in the conference. She also finished first in total goals against with seven on the year.
In regards to his team’s individual accomplishments, Cohen said he believes his team took a step in the right direction.
Next season, along with Madura, the Owls will graduate mid-fielders/defenders Lisamarie Tarchini and Lauren Muscarella. They’ll also be without mid-fielders Julia Gotta and Kylie Rogers who are among this year’s senior class as well.
Despite losing the players they will, Brochu said she’s confident that next year’s team can be just as successful as this year’s.
“We have a lot of good returning players,” Brochu said. “With the new players we will have coming in, I think we know what we need to work on this off-season to make next year better. The loss was very frustrating, especially since we were all fired up. We started off playing better than we did the last time we played them. However, once we lost, it settled in that we were done and that was very frustrating. ”