Women’s soccer drops their quarterfinal game to Pace 1-0
Tyler Ferrara – Special to the Southern News
The end of Southern’s women’s soccer team season, and a spot in the semifinals of the conference tournament ultimately came down to a penalty kick.
“We couldn’t see it and we didn’t know if it was a handball or not,” said Cohen on the penalty. “So the first thing that went through my mind was unfortunate, but we had plenty of time to fight back.”
The Owls (No. 3) lost a heartbreaking 1-0 contest, last Tuesday night against Pace University (No. 6) in the Northeast-10 Conference quarterfinals. The fans were silenced early when senior Deanna Ryan unintentionally touched the ball with her hand in the 22nd minute of the first half.
The Setters of Pace were rewarded with a penalty kick, and junior Drew Ribadeneyra, did not hesitate from 12 yards – drilling a shot into the bottom left corner for the Owls’ only goal of the night.
Heading into the game, Cohen had an idea of what to expect from Pace.
“We knew that they were going to defend in numbers, and they were going to try and attack, and put us under pressure with service,” said Cohen. “They were trying to make it difficult for us to play, so we wanted to keep our composure and create as many chances as we could.”
Cohen said that at halftime they made a couple of adjustment that tried to put some people in better positions to attack and create opportunities in order to make Pace feel unbalanced.
However, the Owls would instead would fall short to Pace, and end their season with a 9-7-3 overall record, along with a NE-10 tournament berth.
“They did all of it, they came together as one,” Cohen said. “When they came in at the beginning of the year, there was a large senior class, but also a large freshman class so it took a little bit of time. But they worked hard at it and came together as one.”
One player that will be graduating the year is Meaghan Howard, a senior forward who is studying elementary education, had a few words on Tuesday night’s game.
“I thought we did everything we could. We fought until the last second and I’m very proud of our team and I couldn’t be any happier,” said Howard.
Howard led the Owls with five assists this season, and was the Owls’ first choice for any free kick opportunities.
“I wish we could have gotten out to a better start,” said Howard. “I think we ended the season exactly how everyone wish the season would end, unfortunately tonight we didn’t come away with a win.”
Fellow senior, Caroline Staudle, a forward for the Owls, had some words of wisdom for the underclassmen after the 1-0 loss to Pace.
“Cherish every moment,” said Staudle, the Owls leading goal-scorer this season. “Even the days you don’t want to go to practice because it flies by. And work your butt off each and every offseason, and over the summer, and you’re going to get what you put into it.”
Staudle finished the 2016 season leading the Owls in goals and points, with nine goals and 20 points. Last 2015 season, Staudle put up seven goals and was named All-New England honoree and All-Northeast-10 Conference selection.
Yet, Staudle noted what she was going to miss most about Southern and the women’s soccer program.
“Everything,” said Staudle, “the group of girls – you know you come into college with 24 to 25 new friends that made you feel comfortable right away. There was always someone to talk to. There is a lot of memories, just the feeling of being on the field and those night games – just everything.”
With the season now over for Staudle, the senior finished her career being the Owls’ No. 6 all-time leading scorer with 25.
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications