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Women’s soccer struggles in Crinion’s first season at the helm

The inaugural season of the Ciara Crinion era as head coach has ended for the women’s soccer program. The Pirates concluded their first year under Crinion with a record of 2-13-1 and a conference record of 1-8, a year removed from going 2-12-4 with no Big East victories.

The year began with Seton Hall scoring goals in three of their first four games, the first time it has done so since the 2016 season. Despite coming out with a record of 1-3 in those matches, the offense seemed to be on a pace that was much more efficient than in years prior. Three different goal scorers in this time span signaled a team that could attack from multiple areas and not have the offense go through just one person.

Unfortunately for Seton Hall, the last three nonconference games did not end in its favor. Two matches went to double overtime and neither resulted in a win. Sandwiched in between was a loss in Philadelphia against Drexel. In the three-match stretch, the Pirates were outshot 61-30, including a shot differential of 34-9 in a defeat to Delaware. In addition, Seton Hall could only rattle off four shots in its match with Drexel. Although 2019 displayed promise early on, going into Big East play, the Pirates were struggling mightily on both ends of the field.

Photo via SHU Athletics

Once conference play began, the soccer team was not able to perform like it did in the beginning of the season. In the first two games on the schedule, Seton Hall lost by a scoring differential of 4-0. Then, in the next three games, the program gave up five goals in each match, followed up with four goals given up after that streak ended. This resulted in being outscored 23-1 in their first six Big East contests.

To end the season, the Pirates went 1-2 in their last three games, dropping matches to Creighton and Georgetown before capturing the senior night match against Providence. The victory against Providence ended a 30-match winless Big East streak, as it was the first conference win since beating Xavier on Oct. 9, 2016. The win also ended an 11-match winless streak during 2019, and the four goals scored in the contest against Providence were the largest contributor for any game towards the season goal total, which ended in nine scores.

Graduating from the program are three seniors: Siobhan McGovern, Marissa Anioloswki, and Jackie Robinson. With just three players exiting the program, this means that only improvement can come from development of the squad during the offseason. Plus, as Crinion gets to know her players more and bring in recruits of her own, the team will play more of a style that reflects her, establishing more cohesiveness with the game plan and the head coach.

Of those returners who will look to make an impact will be leading goal scorers Alyssa Reszkowski and Laura Hooper. Alongside of them will be Emily Caza, who will return to the backline after registering the most minutes on the team this past season. Harpa Johannsdottir will continue being the goalkeeper for the unit, as she will look to improve upon a rookie year that saw her win Big East freshman of the week during the start of the season.

Even though the program has not had much success recently, the team will most certainly have much better year in 2020 with a surplus of returners under another year of Crinion’s guidance.

Robert Fallo can be reached at Find him on Twitter @robert_fallo.

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