By Brian Brown
The College’s women’s soccer season came to a heartbreaking end after taking a tough loss to long-time rival Rowan University in the semi-finals of the New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament on Nov. 2.
Going into the semi-finals, the girls knew that the Profs were seeking revenge, as the Lions had defeated Rowan University in the championship of the NJAC Tournament last year after outscoring them in penalty kicks 5-4.
The team played tough through both quarters of the semi-final game, having a total of 12 shot attempts with five shots on goal between the first and second quarter, outshooting Rowan by 1 in both criteria.
After a goal by a member of the Rowan women’s soccer team at the sixty eighth minute mark, the Lady Lions were unable to kick their way back to the win, ultimately losing by an excruciating score of 1-0.
In their first game of the NJAC Tournament, the Lions defeated Stockton University with a score of 1-0, with the only goal of the game being scored by junior, forward-middle and undecided major Sophie Vieira. The Lions outshot the Ospreys 20-5, with the Lions having 12 shots in the second half alone and a total of five shots on goal throughout the game.
The Lions ended their season with a record of 14 wins, three losses and two ties which, in comparison to previous years, was not as strong of a record as they were used to seeing.
In the year prior, the Lions finished with a record of 21 wins, one loss and two ties along with an appearance in the NCAA Division Three Women’s Soccer National Championship.
“I think this season went well considering all the adversity we faced and adjustments that we had to make together as a team,” senior defender Kristina Ng stated.
The girls endured much this season compared to years prior, with head coach Joe Russo retiring after 32 years of coaching the team. Additionally, the team graduated many players that had contributed to success seen in the 2021 season including First Team All-American Defender Jess Hall and Second Team All-American Goalkeeper, Alexandra Panasuk.
“I do not think this season went as expected. It was definitely a challenging year with a lot of change and difficulty,” senior and mathematics major forward Lindsay O’keefe stated. “I think we had high expectations for ourselves because of our season last year but we weren’t able to accomplish them.”
Although they had their season cut short, the girls remained positive, remembering some of their favorite moments from this past season.
Senior business administration major Gianna Coppola recounted that her “favorite part of the season was when we traveled to St. Mary’s because traveling and staying in a hotel with your teammates is always super fun.”
The Lions will be graduating eight seniors this season which include defender Anya Helmer, defender Kristina Ng, defender Ivonne Vasquez, defender Jess DiMatteo, midfielder Gianna Coppola, forward Lindsay O’keefe, forward-Middle Ava Garay and forward Emma Pascarella.
We wish the graduating seniors much luck in their future endeavors and are excited to watch the women’s soccer team perform next season.