Last week, the NSU women’s soccer team (4-8-3) saw their season come to an end in front of a crowd of 256 spectactors. The Sharks lost 1-0 to the Eckerd Tritons (10-6-3) at the NSU Soccer Complex.
The match was a quarterfinal game in the Sunshine State Conference tournament. The Sharks outshout the Tritons 32 to two, but were unable to score in the deciding game of the season.
The Tritons scored in the 36th minute of the match on a header from Arie Anahory that found the back of the net. The Tritons decided to not take a shot for the rest of the game, opting to play defense and preserve their lead. By the end of the first half, NSU had taken 12 shots on goal.
The second half proved to be no different. Eckerd continued to play resilient defense as NSU played aggressive offense. The final whistle blew with the Sharks taking 20 shots in the second half, unable to capitalize in part due to Eckerd’s goalkeeper, Morgan Crescent making 19 saves in the game.
Despite the loss, fans are still excited for the team.
Haleigh Wilson, sophomore psychology major, said, “I was excited and very proud that the women’s soccer team made it into the conference playoffs.”
Throughout the season, the Sharks found themselves competing in close games. Seven out of the 15 games played were decided by a one-goal margin, with the Sharks losing six of them.
In order to improve next season, Head Coach Michael Goodrich said, “We need to play more consistent. From a tactical perspective, we have to do a better job of finishing our opportunities.”
One of the biggest challenges that the Sharks faced over the course of the season was the lack of experience on the pitch. Freshman and sophomores filled 21 out of the 29 spots on the roster. The lack of experience seemed to show in the inability to close some of the close games they had this season.
During the offseason, the Sharks will take about six weeks off to rest and recover from any injuries that the players may have sustained over the course of the season.
Goodrich said, “We will take time off to focus on academics and to have a college student experience. It is a very stressful experience for kids, especially for freshman that are away from home for the first time.”
Moving forward, NSU hopes to be competitive on both the pitch and in the classroom. As Goodrich continued to say, “Our long term goal is to graduate kids to help them move onto their careers. On the field, our goal is to be competitive in the conference and nationally.”