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Women's soccer has dream season end in semifinals

by Panagiotis Argitis - Editor-in-Chief
Tue, Nov 12th 2019 09:00 pm
Senior Mara Zimmerman controls the ball while looking downfield.
Senior Mara Zimmerman controls the ball while looking downfield.

It is often difficult to see past season-ending results, but in a campaign filled with surprises and surpassing expectations, the progress made by The College at Brockport women’s soccer team is a topic of its own. Despite a 5-1 defeat to SUNY Cortland, which eliminated it from the postseason, Brockport’s climb back up the SUNYAC ladder is a stepping stone toward the future. 

While the team began its 2019 run with inconsistent outcomes from non-conference matchups, the chemistry formed from initial results paved the way for the program’s best conference showing in over seven years as Brockport went on to finish the season with six SUNYAC victories.

Prior to its first SUNYAC semifinal appearance since 2013, Brockport accumulated victories in four of its final five conference games, with a closely-contested loss to SUNY Geneseo being the only blemish. This streak included a 3-0 win in the SUNYAC quarterfinals over SUNY Oneonta. 

It’s progressive run of form, however, did not withstand the firepower of Cortland, who reversed Brockport’s fortunes and knocked the team out of any championship conversation. 

The semifinal contest between the two sides was played on Cortland’s field on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m., where the home team proved its superiority from the opening whistle. 

Cortland, the #2 seed, claimed the advantage early and found the net twice within 16 minutes of the game. Despite Brockport’s defensive efforts against its opponent following the poor start, Cortland went on to score its third goal of the contest before halftime and looked to be on its way to the championship stage. 

Following the regulation break, Brockport was only able to keep Cortland at bay for 15 minutes, as the Golden Eagles’ opponent went on to score two goals within the span of 35 seconds to put the game away. In what was only a consolation goal, senior forward Molly Zientek netted a goal in the 82nd minute for Brockport’s single tally of its 5-1 defeat at the hands of Cortland. 

Despite its closely-contested 3-2 overtime loss to Cortland earlier in the season, the team’s fall to the opponent comes with no excuses toward the reality of the results. 

“We failed to come up with a win and the end of the season is something we are facing,” captain and senior defender Mara Zimmerman said. “We are proud of how the season went but we know what the result is.” 

At the close of the campaign, Brockport finished with a total of 12 wins and seven losses, along with claiming the #3 seed in SUNYAC Tournament following its conference run. In prospect toward the future, the team’s attack looks to be solidified with freshman forward Kiley Longin, who finished her preliminary season as the top scorer with 15 goals. Freshman goalie Kayla Usborne also impressed with 72 total saves and eight wins between the posts. 

Along with the players who were responsible for the team’s stride back up to postseason contention, head coach Mike Idland recorded his best finish with the program and looks forward to build off the progress made this year.

“The lesson [this season] enables us to take the next step next year,” Idland wrote. “The vast majority of our team is slated to return next season and we have an outstanding 2020 recruiting class lined up to join them and help raise the level again, so I’m confident that we’ll keep progressing next season.”

Following a number of underwhelming seasons, the women’s soccer team aims to find the missing pieces ahead of making another attempt at the SUNYAC crown in 2020.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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