The NYU women’s soccer team will be returning to the NCAA tournament after a 12-year hiatus. The Violets will be pitted against the Amherst College Jeffs in the first round of the tournament, which will take place on Nov. 15 in Rochester, New York. The tournament consists of 64 teams.
NYU finished with an overall record of 11-5-2 and a 3-2-2 record in the UAA. The team ended its season with a grueling 0-0 double overtime stalemate against conference rival Brandeis University on Nov. 8. The tournament berth represents the attainment of one of the teams’ main goals going into the season. As with NCAA tournaments in other sports, this competition represents an opportunity for a fresh start for all teams involved. While the competition is fierce, the team hopes the thrill of reaching this point will be enough to propel it to an unlikely postseason run.
Senior forward and co-captain Cami Crawford expressed the the team’s anticipation regarding the selection.
“We are so excited,” Crawford said. “We’ve been working very hard and we’re excited to see where our hard work takes us.”
Freshman midfielder Stephanie Ho reiterated Crawford’s sentiments and said she is proud of the team and the program.
“It’s definitely a great accomplishment for the program,” Ho said. “We are doing big things and getting the respect and recognition we have worked hard for. I, like the rest of the team, am excited to play and show everyone what we’ve worked so hard for.”
Recognizing the possibility of losing focus in the postseason, head coach Michelle Canning stressed the importance of maintaining the team’s drive, while at the same time lauding the accomplishments of her players.
“We are really excited about our selection to the tournament,” Canning said. “It is a big step for the program. We will be very focused this week in practice to make sure we are prepared for the game on Saturday.”
After the thrill of their selection, the players and coaches will now turn their attention to their next opponent, Amherst College. In a single elimination tournament, there is not a lot of room for mistakes in game planning or execution. It is also important not to look too far into the future and to keep concentrating on the task at hand.
Amherst had a similar record to that of NYU at 11-5-0. What differs is the Jeffs’ level of experience. While the Violets have not reached the tournament in 12 years, Amherst has been selected four years in a row. The Jeffs have also reached the quarterfinals as recently as 2011. Amherst is very stout defensively, as it has only surrendered eight goals during the year.
If the Violets are able to defeat Amherst, they will face either Nazareth College or Worcester State University in the round of 32 on Sunday, Nov. 16.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Nov. 11 print edition. Email Chris Marcotrigiano at [email protected]