Soccer shut out on Senior Day by Franklin Pierce
Matt Gad – Contributor
On the last day of the regular- season, the nine-win women’s soccer squad fell to No. 11 Franklin Pierce, the top seed in this year’s NE10 Tournament, 2-1.
“We wanted to compete to win,” head coach Adam Cohen said. “That’s where any momentum comes from; you want to put yourself in a position to try to win a game. We liked that in the second half the chances evened out. We probably had as many quality chances as they did.”
After a defensive opening to the game from both sides, Franklin Pierce’s Sophie Cousineau hit a left-side cross, assisted by Bruna Tavares, in the 22nd minute. Then Tavares scored her fifth goal of the season from 20 yards out just three minutes later and suddenly the Ravens held a 2-0 advantage.
But with 17 seconds left in the game, freshman Greta Brunello put the Owls on the board with her second score of the year to prevent the shutout and cut the disadvantage in half to 2-1.
“It was really great to see the team compete today,” senior captain Mikaela Magee said. “It was a nice way to end the [regular] season with all my friends on the team and now we’re getting focused moving forward to play in the playoffs.”
The Owls, who finished the regular- season 9-9, and 8-6 in conference play, were seeded seventh for the NE10 Tournament. They played at No. 2 Southern New Hampshire, which went 13-3-2 in the regular-season, and 10-2-2 in NE10 competition, yesterday in quarter final action.
“We’ve made it to the NE10 [Tournament] three out of the four years I’ve been here,” Magee said. “We always compete, we always come to compete and we’re excited.”
Magee, from New Fairfield, Conn. was one of the team’s three seniors that was honored before last Saturday’s action. Juliana Santos, from Newington, Conn. and Allie Smith, a goalkeeper from Danbury, Conn. who is expected to start for Kate Lynch’s women’s basketball squad this season, were also honored for senior day.
The Ravens won 12 regular-season games overall and hosted 9-8-1 American International last night.
“We have a belief in what we’re capable of so we’re gonna see what we can do [in the playoffs],” Cohen said. “We’re focused on this conference tournament.”
Coming into this tournament, the program has not won a playoff game since 2014. Then, they lost 2-1 to Franklin Pierce in the NE10 Quarterfinals but qualified for the ECAC Tournament and went on to defeat Newberry College, 2-1, and then outlast Adelphi in the final 6-5 on penalty kicks.
“There’s a possibility after NE10s we can get into ECACs,” Magee said. “And then NCAAs is always a possibility.”
The conference tournament winner will receive an automatic bid through to the NCAA Tournament. Otherwise, teams must be selected outright based on it is overall season performance.
The Owls, who won five consecutive games from the end of September and into October, have wins against five seed Saint Anselm and eight seed AIC.
The team has also recorded four wins on the road, their most wins away from Jess Dow Field since the 2015 season.
If the Owls win their game against SNHU, they would play on Friday, Nov. 2 against the winner of six seed Assumption or three seed Stonehill. The Owls beat Assumption 3-2 on Sept. 22.
Photo Credit: Palmer Piana