FPU Women’s Soccer team selected to NCAA Tournament, falls in first round

by Bryce Johnson

The Franklin Pierce Women’s Soccer team earned a berth into the NCAA Tournament but lost 2-0 in the first round to LIU Post on Friday, November 10th.

After finishing the regular season with a record of 10 wins, 3 losses and 2 ties, and a run to the NE-10 Championship game, the Ravens were selected to the tournament as the fifth seed in the East Region and were matched up against LIU Post of the East Coast Conference.

“It was well-deserved, I wasn’t surprised by the selection,” said Head Coach Jonathan Garbar. “I am very happy for the players, especially the returners and seniors who had never experienced the tournament.”

The team was projected to finish ninth in the conference in the preseason, but rode six wins in their final seven regular-season contests into the NE-10 Tournament. In the tournament they rolled over Pace and Merrimack to earn a date with Southern New Hampshire University in the NE-10 Championship where they lost but still earned a berth into the NCAA Tournament.

“I was very pleased with the development of the culture, commitment to the process,” Garbar said. “We’ve established good building blocks for the future and a lot of pride around the program.”

The NCAA announced the regional fields on Monday, November 6th and the Ravens earned their 20th appearance in the team’s storied history. It was their first selection since 2010, which was the last year of 19 straight appearances in the tournament from 1992-2010. The team won five NCAA Championships in that time, the most recent in 1999.

“Being selected to the NCAA tournament was an honor and attested to all of our hard work throughout the season,” said sophomore forward Sophie Cousineau. “I think it is a huge accomplishment that just represents how far our program has come. I honestly never believed that I would play in the NCAA tournament, and it was so cool to be able to experience being a participant.”

Franklin Pierce faced off against LIU Post on Friday, November 10th at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. The Ravens surrendered a pair of first half goals and failed to convert on any of their opportunities and fell to LIU Post in the first round.

“We struggled to recover from disappointing moments,” said Garbar about the losses to SNHU and LIU Post. “With such a diverse group of players, we lacked the necessary mental maturity.”

(Photo: Franklin Pierce Athletics)

“I don’t think we focus on an end goal like making the NE-10 tournament or the NCAAS, we just focus on improving on ourselves and then we know the results will come,” Cousineau said. “We don’t focus on results like winning, if we work hard and smart, we know that the accomplishments will come.”

The Ravens will lose six seniors from this year’s squad including four-year starting goalkeeper Casey Cook. They also will lose starters Aimee Malboeuf and Gabrielle Braga, part-time starter Samantha Rodrigues and bench players Nalina Valaydon and Vanessa Monzon.

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