With soccer season done, a time for healing

by Beacon Staff • November 8, 2006

The team wrapped up the season with the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship Tournament on Oct.,Although numerous players spent time sidelined with injuries, the Emerson women's soccer team still considers the 2006 season a success. The team finished with an 8-8-1 overall record and went 5-4-1 in conference play, including the playoffs.

The team wrapped up the season with the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship Tournament on Oct. 29, falling 2-0 to Western New England College (WNEC) in the first round. WNEC went on to win the GNAC Championship in the first round. Just days before, the team had pulled off a surprising 5-1 victory over Johnson and Wales University. Johnson and Wales at 7-1-1 was the first seed at the tournament and statistically the strongest team in the conference.

The Lions got off to a strong start despite multiple injuries early in the season. Many players were forced to spend time off the field recovering from sprained ankles, torn ligaments and sore muscles.

"We were just decimated with injuries," Head Coach Jason Tassinari said. "Every time we would get a little healthier, someone else would get injured."

The team's season opener against Clark University was canceled due to rain, but the players stayed energized as they prepared to face Lasell College in their first match on Sept. 6. The team was victorious against Lasell, boasting a 5-1 victory after their home opener. Freshman midfielder Katie Franzeo scored two goals in the game.

The Lions did not let their injuries affect them in an 8-0 victory over Albertus Magnus College on Sept. 16. Franzeo had four points in the win, with two goals and two assists. She was named to the GNAC Weekly Honor Roll for her efforts on and off the field.

The team struggled mid-season as they lost to Rivier College (1-0) and Emmanuel College (2-1) in back-to-back games, both of which went into double overtime.

"It's hard to lose games like this," Tassinari said. "We had opportunities in both games. There was a chance that we could win."

The overtime losses completed a five-game losing streak, but the team bounced back to win their next four, lifting their record to 7-6-1 after leaving all four opponents scoreless.

After a 3-1 loss to Wentworth Institute of Technology on Oct. 21 and the win over Johnson and Wales on Oct. 25, the Lions prepared for the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record overall and a 5-3-1 record during regular season conference play.

Despite the Lions early exit from the playoffs, the team played well and Mallory Moretti was named Soccer Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 15 by the GNAC and Eastern College Athletic Conference.

Moretti scored six goals in the three-game span.

The team finished fifth in the GNAC.

With the season complete, the team now looks forward to next year, though they will be without their quartet of senior captains-defenders Alicia Lombardi and Heather Sands and midfielders Stacey Ambrose and Erica Coray. Additionally, the team will lose senior defenders Ashley Daley and forward Keri Angus.

Next year's squad must rely on this year's freshmen to step up their games.

"The freshmen are a very close-knit group and they have a great chemistry together," Tassinari said. "A lot of them helped out right away, and they'll be back again next year."