The women’s soccer team made history this season by earning their first-ever home playoff game and by making the CCC semifinals.
In a battle for first place in the CCC, ENC faced Gordon College’s Fighting Scots on Oct. 20 during homecoming.
Gordon scored early, netting a goal in the 6th minute. The game remained 1-0 until the Fighting Scots added two more goals in the 80th and 85th minutes.
The Lions needed to regain focus for their Oct. 23 matchup against the University of New England, which would determine whether they would host their quarterfinal game.
The Nor’easters scored first in the 47th minute after a scoreless first half. ENC’s Amelia Gonzales (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) struck right back with a header in the 51st minute, her lone goal on the year.
The game resulted in a double-overtime 1-1 tie, which clinched the 4th seed for the Lions, giving them their first ever home playoff match.
In the CCC quarterfinals, ENC met the U. of New England again. Juliana Speno (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) scored her 10th goal of the season on a free kick in the 43rd minute. The Lions held off the Nor’easters for the rest of the game, earning a 1-0 victory.
Women’s soccer traveled to Gordon Nov. 1 in the semifinals.
Gordon scored the first goal in the 11th minute. The remainder of the first half was scoreless. The Lions ran out of the gates in the second half, possessing the ball more than Gordon in the first 20 minutes.
Speno knotted the score at 1-1 with her 11th goal on a header in the 60th minute. The Lions scored again only four minutes later, this goal from Maleesa Santos (Colonie, N.Y.)
The Fighting Scots scored just three minutes later, though, making the game 2-2. 14 minutes passed before Gordon scored the game’s final goal in the 81st minute, giving them a 3-2 victory.
A slow start to the season for the women made the playoffs look bleak. The women continued to fight, though.
“This season taught me that persistence and hard work is key. We started off shaky at 0-5 and many teams would tend to shut down at that point but we did the complete opposite,” said Speno. “We worked even harder, kept a positive mindset every single day, and proved how much we wanted it.”
The Lions’ quarterfinal victory gave them their first ever semifinal match. Many of the women are already focused on bringing the postseason title to ENC next season.
“Every year since coach Hamilton has been here, our program has increasingly become better and [more] successful,” said Speno. She continued, “I have no doubt in my mind that come next season we will be ready to take everything one level higher and continue to prove our potential and talent to ENC, the community, and all the teams that we compete against.”
Midfielder Morgan Goodney (East Greenwich, R.I.) is the lone graduating senior.