After fulfilling its main goal of winning the North Atlantic Conference championship, the women’s soccer team bowed out of the NCAA Division III National Tournament in the first round with a 2-1 loss at the hands of Brandeis University on Nov. 13 in Waltham, Mass.”Although people were upset after the game, I don’t think a single person was disappointed in our season whatsoever,” junior Maria Arnot said. “We accomplished so much and have so much to be proud of.”
Castleton took an early lead in the game as Hilary Cooke scored just 10 minutes into the match off of a header. The assist came from Courtney Chadburn, giving her 50 points on the season.
“Courtney is an awesome player, and getting 50 points in a season just shows how much of an impact she has on our team,” defender Kelly Tetreault said. “Courtney is such a smart, dynamic player. She has been a three-time conference player of the year, and her numbers back it all up.”
Brandeis was eager not to let Castleton gain too much momentum, though, and answered with a goal of its own just two minutes later as midfielder Mary Shimko netted her second goal of the season.
The Judges’ game-wining goal came courtesy of Hilary Andrews who capitalized off of a loose-ball free for all near the net in the 71st minute of play.
Breandeis’ sophomore goalie Francine Kofinas preserved the win for the Judges, making a couple of tough saves against the Spartan offense late in the game.
Castleton’s offense had an uncharacteristically hard time getting into a rhythm, and it put six shots on goal in the contest. Brandeis’ offense, on the other hand, put 24 shots on goal.
“I think that offensively we just couldn’t finish,” Tetreault said. “We had our opportunities, but we just couldn’t finish on them. It’s not that we didn’t want to score, it just wasn’t happening.”
Arnot says that while the amount of shots for Brandeis was greater than Castleton’s, that doesn’t mean it gave the Judges the upper hand.
“They had more shots, but they weren’t necessarily better,” she said. “We just fell short.”
Kofinas finished with three saves in the victory while Spartan keeper Ericka Davis made 11 saves in the loss.
While the loss, which ended an impressive 14-game unbeaten streak, was no doubt disappointing to the Castleton players, they were still excited about a successful season that saw them win 16 games.
“This was such an awesome season,” Tetreault said. “It was one of the best ones our program has had. Our goal all year long was to win a conference championship, and we did. So it was a really successful and awesome season.”
With most of the team members from this year’s team returning, Arnot said its hard not to think the team will have another shot at walking away with a NCAA game win in the near future.
“There is always next year,” she said.