Women’s soccer misses NCAA tournament after tough loss

RYAN MURPHY ’17

STAFF WRITER

The Trinity College women’s soccer season officially ended Monday, Nov.9, after not receiving a bid to the NCAA tournament. The Bantams lost 1-0 in a tough match against Bowdoin in the NESCAC semifinals. Nonetheless, the Bantams had a very successful season, finishing with an overall record of 11-6, and a 6-4 conference record.

The match-up with Bowdoin was very defensively oriented, with both teams combining for only five shots on goal for the entire contest. Forward Nicole Stauffer ’17 had the Bantams’ best scoring opportunity in the 12th minute when she shot a ball from the top of the box just over the goal. Just three minutes later, Bowdoin forward Evan Fencik netted the go-ahead goal for the Polar Bears, on a shot that tri-captain goalkeeper Monica DiFiore ’16 couldn’t secure.

In the second half, the Bantams had another scoring opportunity when tri-captain forward Lexi Menard ’16 misfired a shot wide left from just outside the Bowdoin box. Unfortunately, scoring opportunities were hard to come by throughout the game. With one minute left, Trinity had one last chance to equalize with a corner kick opportunity, but Bowdoin’s defense was stout.

Following the loss, the Bantams were left at the mercy the NCAA selection committee to see if they would qualify for the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, an unforeseen loss by Babson to Springfield College made Trinity’s odds look bleak, and they ultimately did not get a bid.

For seniors Menard, DiFiore, Abby Siebert (tri-captain), Kelsey Thomas, and Julia Leahy, the loss to Bowdoin marked their final game dawning the blue and gold. DiFiore had a stellar senior campaign, finishing second in the NESCAC with 96 saves and a save percentage of .835.

Despite the loss of 5 seniors with starting experience, the women’s soccer team looks very bright. Laura Nee ’17 finished ninth in the NESCAC in total points, with 14, while freshman Taylor Kirchgessner ’19 was just behind her with 13 points. All of Trinity’s top goal scorers, including Nee, Kirchgessner, Caroline McKenna ’19, and Andi Nicholson ’17 are returning next year and the team boasts a strong young core for the 2016 season. Kendra Lena ’17 and Sarah Connors ’18, tied for the second on the team with 3 assists each will also be back next year.

The toughest challenge will be replacing one of Trinity’s best goalkeepers of all time in DiFiore. Stephanie Allieri ’18, Julia Pitino ’19, and Mary Bennewitz ’19 are currently the Bantams’ other goalkeepers on the roster. While 2015 didn’t end the way the team envisioned, the team did post soome very solid statistics this season. In 17 games played, the Bantams outscored their opponents 27-20, and had the best in-conference shot-on-goal percentage at .591. With so much talent returning, the Bantams looks to top the NESCAC next fall.

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