In the last women’s soccer game of the season on Friday, the Pirates showed an increased attack with a season-high 15 shots on goal. That is the type of progress a team wants to see when it escapes an 18-game season with just two wins.
Overall, the Pirates finished the season with a 2-14-2 record. In the Big East, they stand tied for last place with the Villanova Wildcats with a 1-8-0 record in conference play.
This season, the home field proved to be where the heart was for this Pirates team, as both season wins came on the South Orange turf. The first win came at home on Sept. 20 against Albany, a double-overtime thriller that end- ed in “oohs” and “aahs.”
It all came down to the 101st minute, where a 0-0 tie was finally broken by a top-tier highlight by senior Amanda Gulli: a bicycle kick to the back of the net. It was a seasoned move that earned Seton Hall the 1-0 win.
No player on the team was able to match the production of Gulli this season. She started all 18 games and led the team in points (8), goals (4), shots (27), shots on goal (13) and game-winning goals (1).
This type of veteran production is something that will be missed by Gulli and other exiting seniors Melissa Blevins, Emily Hansinger and D’Yonna Riley, but Seton Hall’s younger players have shown promise.
“A lot of younger players got some very good, quality minutes, effective minutes, which is going to help us in the long run,” head coach Rick Stainton said following the season-closer Friday.
Two freshmen players who stood out this season were Eva Gonzalez and Delaney Suarez. While playing in 14 games, Gonzalez racked up two assists and eight shots. Suarez, playing 13 games, had four shots and scored one of Seton Hall’s nine season goals.
While the Hall averaged 0.5 goals scored and two allowed per game this season, the team looks toward the big picture and the progress in the intangibles found outside a box score.
“We continue to progress,” Stainton said. “The results don’t really show it right now, but we do. We’ve improved on a lot of areas.”
The next step is just to keep working and to get the improvements to show on the scoreboard.
Elizabeth Swinton can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @eswint22.