This weekend marked the end of the NYU men’s and women’s soccer seasons as both teams fell in their respective playoff tournaments. The men’s team lost 1-0 at the hand of Rutgers University-Camden in the semifinals of the Eastern College Athletic Conference competition, while the women fell 2-0 to Amherst College in the first round of the NCAA DIII tournament.
After pulling out a tight game a few days earlier, the men’s team traveled across state lines to Camden hoping to win in similar fashion, with resilient defense and impressive goalkeeping. The stat line of the game was resoundingly similar, as the Violets were outshot 16-7 and were only able to get three shots on net to Rutgers’ five. Unlike the last game, however, NYU’s opponent was able to sneak one goal in past sophomore goalkeeper Lucas Doucette. The Scarlet Knights’ goal came early in the 17th minute of the first half, when opposing forward Mike Ryan got right in front of the net and beat Doucette. Doucette had four saves on the day.
The Violets could not rally and only scraped together a few chances at the end of the match. Freshman forward Malcolm Montilus led the team with two shots, and one on goal. His return next season will headline the maturation of a very young team, which had contributions Saturday from many underclassmen, as they have all season. The return of a slew of sophomores, including big minute players Doucette, captain Petter Aasa, forward Bryan Walsh, midfielder Ryan Cerqueria and forward Reece Barton should also help next season’s cause. Montilus, defender Ryan Llorente and forward Tommy Walters are three promising freshmen who played significant minutes this season. The team will certainly miss senior captain Mickey Ingerman and senior defender Justin Suter, but with an 11-7-1 finish for such a young team, the path to meaningful postseason play is just beginning.
The women’s team also saw its season dispatched on Saturday. The loss caps the team’s season at 11-6-1. This season marked the team’s first NCAA tournament berth since 2002, which is quite the farewell for its eight graduating seniors. The Violets conceded once in each half, and were unable to beat Amherst keeper Holly Burwick, despite six attempts on goal. Sophomore Violet goalkeeper Cassie Steinberg performed impressively despite her two goals allowed, saving seven shots and keeping NYU within striking distance.
The offense struggled and, after a season of impressive offensive showings and total team games, it fell in a shutout in which it was close to scoring on a few occasions. Senior forwards Cami Crawford and Amelia Hammerl led the way in the attacking third, each putting two shots on goal. Crawford said the team experienced a whirlwind of emotions.
“We are proud to have been selected to go to the NCAAs this year, and we know it will be a platform for the program to grow off of for years afterward,” she said.
After such a long, impressive season, it will be difficult to start over in the fall of 2015 especially after losing a few of the team’s leaders. But with a solid group of underclassmen, many of whom have now tasted success and the NCAA tournament, the Violets should be a force to reckon with in the UAA next season.
A version of this article appeared in the Nov 17 print edition. Email Bobby Wagner at [email protected]