Women’s soccer season comes to a close
As the Big East Championship continues into the semifinal round, the Pirates remain in South Orange recovering from a mentally and physically rough season.
The Hall finished the season 5-12-1, going 1-9-1 in Big East conference play.
This marks the second straight season in which Seton Hall has notched only one conference win, but junior Nicki Gross still feels the team is progressing.
“It was definitely an improvement from last year,” Gross said. “We were in every game and it’s just a couple of close plays that the other team was able to pull out, but it looks very optimistic for next year.”
The Pirates lost three Big East matchups by one goal, two of those three games going into overtime.
Against both Rutgers and USF, the Hall came up short in the final minutes of the game.
“Just a little bit of extra focus, or if we put away a play early we would be ahead in the game rather than behind,” Gross said. “Those two games were pretty good performances so we walked away not too disappointed.”
In the 3-2 overtime loss at Louisville on Oct. 23, the Pirates left Kentucky feeling disappointed after a controversial call led to a penalty kick and the deciding goal in the 97th minute.
Despite the record, the Hall still had many bright spots on the team, including freshman goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew.
Pettigrew started 14 games for the Pirates, making 58 saves on the season with a 2.07 goals against average.
“For a freshman with a lack of experience, she was able to pull out some good games. She played very well in the back and she’s pretty confident,” Gross said. “She’ll be even better next year.”
Redshirt sophomore Elizabeth Bond and sophomore Chelsea King also helped out the team a great deal when put in as goalkeeper, according to Gross.
Sophomore forward Danielle Schulmann had a productive first season with the Pirates.
The Maryland transfer led the team in points with 14, scored six goals, and also tallying two assists.
Gross ranked first on the team with five assists and 43 shots and second on the team with four goals, and 13 points.
Redshirt freshman Stephanie Soma and senior Kaitlyn Rogers each tallied two goals on the season.
Senior Megan Mills, junior Shannon Desmond, and sophomores Ashley Beamish and Wiebke Balcke all tallied one goal on the year.
The Pirates may use this season to learn some important lessons.
“One play can make a difference, and we learned it the hard way,” Gross said. “I think we learned a lot about ourselves and what we can improve on.”
The team is still very young, with only four seniors graduating. But defenders Megan Mills and Kirah Hiltz, along with midfielders Kaitlyn Rogers and Katie Andreski, could create some serious voids on next season’s roster.
The Pirates are optimistic about next year as they look to make their way back to the Big East Tournament.
“We’re already starting to work on it, just getting the team closer and having us all technically better as individuals and as a team,” Gross said. “We have good team camaraderie. We each have our own qualities we can bring to the table and once we bring it together it will look great.”
Matthew Bryant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.