The Castleton women’s soccer team fell tragically in the final seconds of a hard fought game against RPI on Sunday. Though the Spartans fell short, they worked hard throughout the game against a tough opponent on a day in which Castleton got its first real taste of fall weather.
Right now, the loss undoubtedly leaves a bad taste in the mouths of every member of the women’s team, but these are the tests that every championship contender must face early in the season.
Some teams fill their non-conference schedule with less-than-stellar opponents, hoping to light up the scoreboard and enter conference-play unscathed, but the Spartan women’s soccer team already boasts some serious battle scars.
Just over a week ago, the women faced a Middlebury team ranked third in the country. Although the game ended in a 3-0 loss for the Spartans, the women gained some confidence in knowing they can compete with the best of the best.
After starting conference play against Lyndon next Saturday, the Spartans will have to refocus quickly as they face the ninth nationally ranked Williams College on Sunday.
In between the tough contests, the Castleton women have rolled to wins over familiar opponents MCLA and Norwich, outscoring the two by a combined 6-1. Tenth-year coach Chris Chapdelaine seems to have found the formula for success when it comes to scheduling, as his team is constantly competing for a conference championship year after year.
The scheduling philosophy used by Chapdelaine continues to become more of a presence among the other teams at Castleton. Men’s soccer, women’s field hockey and football all boast very strong out-of-conference schedules.
As Castleton continues to become more competitive with these nationally recognized programs, the strides made go far beyond a notch in the win column.