Womenâs soccer team advances to CAA tournament for first time since â07
The womenâs soccer team made history on Sunday, clinching a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) tournament for the first time since 2007. The team defeated Hofstra 2-1 in overtime, securing the fourth and final seed in the conference playoffs.
The game-winning goal came from senior forward Emma Davies, who scored in the 97th minute after receiving a pass from sophomore midfielder Leah Lewis. Davies leads the team with nine goals this season, while Lewis has six assists.
The team celebrated the victory with their fans and coaches, who stormed the field after the final whistle. Head coach Lisa Cole praised the teamâs resilience and determination throughout the season.
âIâm so proud of this group of players,â Cole said. âThey have worked hard, overcome challenges, and stayed focused on their goals. They deserve this moment and Iâm happy to share it with them.â
The team will face top-seeded James Madison in the CAA semifinals on Friday, April 21, at 4 p.m. The game will be played at JMUâs Sentara Park and streamed live on FloSports. The winner will advance to the CAA championship game on Sunday, April 23, at 1 p.m.
The team hopes to continue their momentum and make more history in the tournament. Senior defender Katie Lockwood, who scored the teamâs first goal against Hofstra, said the team is confident and ready for the challenge.
âWeâve been working for this all season and weâre not done yet,â Lockwood said. âWe have a lot of talent and chemistry on this team and we believe we can compete with anyone. Weâre excited to play JMU and show what we can do.â
The womenâs soccer team has had a remarkable turnaround this season, improving from a 4-12-1 record last year to a 10-6-2 record this year. The team also went from winning only one conference game in 2019 to winning six in 2020.
One of the key factors for the teamâs success has been the leadership and experience of the senior class, which includes Davies, Lockwood, goalkeeper Erin Seppi, midfielder Lauren Kelly, and defender Emily Kuefler. The seniors have provided stability and guidance for the younger players, while also contributing on the field.
Another factor has been the addition of Cole, who took over as head coach in January 2020. Cole brought with her a wealth of coaching experience, having previously coached at Penn State, Boston Breakers, and Puerto Rico. Cole has instilled a culture of excellence and accountability in the team, while also fostering a positive and supportive environment.
Cole said she is grateful for the opportunity to coach this team and hopes to build on the success of this season.
âThis has been a special year for me and for this program,â Cole said. âI want to thank the administration, the staff, and the fans for their support and trust. I also want to thank the players for their commitment and dedication. They have made this season possible and Iâm honored to be their coach.â aa16f39245