It was Sunday, November 3rd, 2019 at 3pm and there was a post-mortem to be found at Tenney Stadium: a loss in the first round of the MAAC tournament. Who caused it? By the bobcats. And the victims? The Red Foxes. Marist was knocked out by Quinnipiac University in the women’s soccer MAAC tournament and it was a stab in the heart. It was caused by a 2nd half comeback by Quinnipiac after being down 2-0 in the 65th minute to win 3-2.
But fear not, there is hope. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until next season for the hope to be restored, but it’s a start. Despite the season ending quite dramatically for the women’s team, coach Leigh Howard had a few words to tell the team after their loss. “After the match, I didn’t talk to them about that specific match, but rather I highlighted the fact that we put together a great team this year. It was a season to be proud of, with good results and good memories to reflect upon and the seniors especially brought a lot into this program.”
Athletes continue to come and go, between the graduating seniors and the incoming freshman, but this gives returning players a special opportunity. The voids left behind by the graduated seniors are able to be filled, with returning players determined to create a new legacy for themselves and to try and improve the team.
This year, those players will have big shoes to fill with the center back partnership of Bianca Furci and Alexa Svensson graduating. “There’s no way that they’ll be able to be replaced,” said coach Howard as she was reminiscing the memories of coaching Furci and Svensson in her two years as head coach, “With some of the new players coming in as well as potential rearranging of current players who gained lots of experience, we are putting ourselves in a good position.”
Two of those returning players are forward Victoria Colatosti and midfielder and captain Nicole Sasso who are both prepared to take a leadership role. “For me, I followed in the shoes of Bianca [Furci] and Keri [Bradley],” Sasso said, “I don’t think I was the most vocal leader, but I tried to lead my actions more so for next season, I’m going to try and do both.”
“Our team is really unified,” Colatosti confidently said, “We played more as a team and played as if we were a family and that will continue to grow into next season.” And that just came from the player who scored both goals over the weekend so it shows that team success always comes over individual success.
As for next season, you could tell from the sounds of the voices of both Colatosti and Sasso were both eager to get back on the field, just two days after the end of their season. they want to come back stronger than before. Not only will they be more prepared next season, but they’re just “excited” and hope to prove the doubters and that they are “a force to be reckoned with.”
Where there are cons, there are pros. With two important defenders out the door, their attack will look more dangerous than ever with the return of Keri Bradley in plain sight. Trust me, the next time you see Leigh Howard and her team step onto Tenney Stadium in 2020, they’ll make sure that the next time they have tears coming down their faces will be through pure joy.
Edited by Kourtney Kowalski