On a breezy Saturday afternoon, in front of family and friends, the Emerson women's soccer team took on the Wentworth Institute of Technology. It was Parents' Weekend, a chance for players relatives to see what they had been hearing about all season. But while the Lions had people from home supporting them, they may have lost home-field advantage for the GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference) playoffs as a result of the game's outcome.
The Lions lost 3-1 to the Wentworth Leopards, meaning they will need to win the rest of their remaining games and hope that Western New England College (WNEC) loses if they want to finish fourth in the conference.
Finishing fourth means a home game during the playoffs; finishing fifth means none.
Head Coach Jason Tassinari said having home-field advantage was important.
"We're a better team at home," he said. "Every team in this conference has a decisive home-field advantage, including us. So we'd like to play at home."
Wentworth was a game of missed opportunities for the Lions. Although the game was a scoreless tie at the end of a half, Tassinari said it could easily have been different.
"I feel like we let this team off the hook," he said. "We really had three or four golden opportunities to score some goals in the first half. Some of our key players had some great chances and didn't come through. Unfortunately, we couldn't recover from that."
In the second half, the Leopards pounced on the Lions. Wentworth tallied three goals, while the Lions' lone goal came when a win was already well out of reach. Freshman Kendra Davidson scored on an assist from senior Stacey Ambrose.
With the loss, the Lions are currently fifth in the conference, with a record of 4-3-1, 7-7-2 overall.
They play Wednesday night against Johnson and Wales, in a game tagged as Senior Night. Tassinari spoke emotionally when he talked about the team's six seniors, four of whom are team captains.
"A lot can be said about those six," he said. "I would probably need a whole newspaper to talk about those guys. They really, especially my captains this year, they've really done a great job in terms of sort of settling this team down in the midpoint of the season when we were really struggling."
The seniors will need to demonstrate that same resilience on the road now if the Lions hope to contend for the GNAC crown.
Tassinari seemed confident in their ability.
"All of them have tremendous leadership qualities," he said. "All of them have contributed in their own way, some by how they played, as far as minutes are concerned, some with their off-the-field leadership qualities. They model the way for the younger players."