Women’s soccer ends successful year
The Pirates finished the 2011 season with their best record since 2008, finishing 9-8-3 overall and 4-6-1 in the Big East, and making their first Big East Tournament since 2006.
The Hall also hosted their first round match in the conference tournament for the first time since 1999 in the process.
Head coach Kazbek Tambi credits the success on two big factors- confidence from a fast start, 6-1-2 in their first 9 games, and hard work.
“We worked extremely hard this offseason to become a better team,” Tambi said. “As we went through the season our players realized how valuable that hard work can be. Getting off to a strong start was gigantic because our season is short, and if you can get off to a fast start like we did, it can only help you get into the right spot at the end of the year.”
The season started with a 3-2 overtime win over Fordham, with senior midfielder Taylor Wilson scoring her first goal in three years for the winner.
It turns out the close game was only a preview of the season to come.
Included in the strong start were three overtime victories, the last one coming in the Big East Conference opener against Georgetown.
“There were a couple of factors I think allowed us to win our overtime games,” said Tambi. “First, there was the fitness of our players, that we were able to run strong late in games. Second, there was a level of confidence that they could go out and get the results instead of playing for a tie at the end. We felt like we could go out and try and win these games.”
That hot start precipitated a cold stretch for the team, as they went 2-6-1 down the stretch of the Big East season.
But Coach Tambi did see good things out of the team despite the constant struggles on the scoreboard.
“When we lost 2-0 to Notre Dame, I thought the team had one of their best performances in years,” Tambi said. “We walked off the field that night with confidence, and that carried through to the end of the season. When we needed a result at Rutgers (to get into the playoffs), we got it, so even on our tough days, we felt that we played a good game.”
The Pirates knocked off St. John’s in the first round of the Big East Tournament 1-0. Senior Ashley Beamish scored the lone goal in the 89th minute to defeat the Red Storm.
In the second round of the tournament their season came to an end at West Virginia with a 5-0 loss. But it was a successful one in the eyes of the head coach.
“Looking back on it, Taylor Wilson had her best year by far, Kaitlyn Ritter scored a lot of big goals for us, but we had a whole slew of players working together,” Tambi said. We don’t want to look at it as one or two players, but a group of players that really came together to have a great season. Great team, great year.”
Jason Guerette can be reached at Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org