The NEC women’s soccer team finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 13-8-2, a conference record of 7-1-1 and a tough 3-2 conference championship loss to Lesley University.
“The expectations are that we get better as a team every day,” said head coach Paul Vasquez, on the team’s goals for the season. “We play a competitive non-conference schedule to prepare us for the conference. I believe we got better every day and had a good run in the conference.”
The Pilgrims started off the season with a hard fought 0-2 loss to a SUNY Geneseo team who is ranked 14th in Division III. After a double overtime tie in their first NECC game, the team went on win seven out of their eight regular season conference games.
Junior defenseman Jenna Gardyne and Senior forward Michaela Pomeroy noted that beating Castleton was a real “turning point” for the squad after battling with the former NAC foe in previous years.
At the conclusion of the regular season the Pilgrims notched three conferences wins, including a 6-0 rout of Mitchell College.
Junior midfielder Molly Bieksha stated one of the obstacles the team had to overcome this season was injuries, noting that “at one point, we had 6 players injured at once.”
Being brand new to the NECC, the Pilgrims made an impressive run to the championship game, beating Bay Path 5-0 and Becker 3-1.
“Looking into the next season, our team is looking to connect and play as one unit, as we are losing 11 seniors who have made a huge impact on the program,” said Bieksha, “their roles will never be filled in the way they played them, but we, as a team, want to join together to be the best we can and grow on what they have left us with.”
Senior defenseman Devon Claverie-Murphy added parting advice for the team, “play with passion, have confidence, and always remember to have fun; when you play your hardest and leave it all out on the field there is nothing to regret.”
Pomeroy also noted the same sentiment as her fellow senior, noting she wants next years team to, “play for your teammates, and the ones that have supported you.”
After reaching the championship game in their inaugural NECC season, the Pilgrims have a lot to build upon heading into next season.
“This was a tremendous senior group. They are leaving this program in a much better spot than when they got here,” said Coach Vasquez. “Our underclassman have done a nice job from learning from them and are in a good position to keep building this program.”