Women’s soccer drops in rank

The Spartan women’s soccer team has dropped its conference rank from fifth to seventh place after a close loss to Mount Ida College on Sunday. Castleton’s record is currently 6-3-1, creating the possibility that the team might not make it to the NAC Championship tournament.

In late Septemeber, the women’s team was outplayed and defeated 5-0 against Skidmore College, tied with Maine Maritime Academy after going through two overtimes, and got shutout once again in a 2-0 loss to Husson College on Oct. 1.

But the winless streak did not stop the Spartans, who went on to post three straight shutouts against Lyndon State College, Lesley University, and Lasell College.

The team showed its depth against Lesley in an important 5-0 victory. Coach Chris Chapdelaine decided to replace almost half the usual starters with bench players. These backup players exceeded expectations and played the game like veterans, he said.

Backup goalkeeper Micole Bellimer, who is a freshman from Hartland, Vt., had an impressive shutout against Lesley on Oct. 7. She saved many difficult shots that came her way, and took many dangerous dives toward the ball when opposing forwards were fearlessly dribbling toward the CSC goal.

“I’m always nervous going into the game. The speed of the game is really different than high school,” Bellimer said. “I love the game, love the team, and love the coaches.”

The veterans played hard as well, with Tracy Stala scoring two goals and tallying two assists, giving her 12 goals for the season. Brean Farquharson had a goal and Carisa Chadburn scored her first goal of the season from a penalty kick.

On the final day of the fall break, Castleton played against Mount Ida College on a cold and windy afternoon. Both teams were held scoreless throughout the game and had trouble finding the net.

Both teams had an even number of shots on goal and time of possession.

The pace of the game picked up a little bit in the second half. Castleton was starting to control the ball more than its opponent, but the passes were not connecting. They had a few close chances for goals from Sarah Reaber-Spina, Courtney Wilday, and Brean Fraquharson.

With only four minutes left in the contest, it seemed like this game was already decided. Mount Ida’s Andrea Wheeler scored the winning goal off a corner kick, giving her team a hard-fought 1-0 victory and putting the Spartans in a tough situation.

“Soccer is all about mental. We weren’t so pumped up for this game,” Reaber-Spina said. “But we are soccer players; somehow, we need to get ourselves pumped up for the game.”

“We just played kick and run,” said Assistant Coach Phil Pitelli. “We played way too direct. It’s the extra touch that killed us and we need to start taking long shots.”

The Spartans have three more games left in the season, including a game against Elms College, who has the best record in the conference.

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