With a 2-16-1 overall record and a 1-6-1 mark in NEC play, the Mount’s women’s soccer team finished at the bottom of the conference. The team was a few games out of making it to the NEC playoffs, needing 2 more wins to leapfrog 5 other teams for a qualifying spot in the top 4.
The result may have been expected early on in the season, when the team struggled during a tough non-conference schedule. In fact, the Lady Mountaineers went 7 straight games to begin 2014 without scoring a goal. This was broken, of course, when junior Emma Blair scored against Bucknell.
After two further shutouts in the Battle of Baltimore trip, the Mount rebounded with its first victory, winning 3-1 at home against Howard. That game, and the stretch of games leading up to it, served as a springboard for 3 first-year players looking to make an impact: Jordan Fine, Cia Makrigiorgos, and Kristen Morawski.
Makrigiorgos and Morawski earned their first bit of recognition in the Battle of Baltimore tournament, being named to the all-tournament team for their efforts. Both became key position players on defense and midfield, respectfully.
Fine, on the other hand, scored 2 goals and racked up 4 points while starting all 19 games during the season. She was tied for second on the team’s goal-scoring leaders, becoming speedy threat for opposing defenses.
Fine played high school ball only 15 minutes away from the Mount at Francis Scott Key High School. The Tawneytown, MD native was also named to the NEC all-rookie team at the end of the year. She is only the second Mount freshman to do so; the first was her teammate, graduating senior Alicia Mirando.
“They did an outstanding job filling roles we really needed,” Mount head coach Tom Gosselin said of the new players, “I think all of them exceeded expectations.”
The second of the team’s 2 wins on the year came at home against Bryant on Oct. 17th. Mirando was the hero of the game, earning both of the team’s goals in the 2-1 victory, including the game-winner scored with less than a minute to go in overtime.
The Mount dropped 3 more games before traveling to face eventual NEC Champions Central Connecticut State.
Facing an onslaught of shots, the end result came down to the Mount hanging on for a 1-1 tie. Sam Manson, a sophomore midfielder, tied the game up in the 2nd half. It was an ecstatic way to end a season full of growing pains.
“The kids worked hard this year and stayed together,” Gosselin stated. “They proved that by tying the NEC champs.”
Mount St. Mary’s says farewell, as the season closes, to 5 senior players: MacKenzie Buckwalter, Kristina Caravelli, Cara Deegan, Paige Peck, and Mirando. Each of them contributed heavily to the team’s successes throughout their careers, including both of their wins in 2014.
The future continues to be bright, however, as the team returns a steady base of emerging young talent, along with a large 2015 recruiting class.
“I believe strongly that we will bounce back next year,” Gosselin said.