By Ann Brunn
The women’s soccer team had its season come to a close on Sunday, Nov. 17, in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship tournament against Tufts University.
The Lions reached the second round by picking up an 8-0 victory over John Jay College in the first round of the Division III NCAA Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Lions’ Stadium.
Freshman midfielder Gianna Coppola started the scoring off for the Lions in the 14th minute, when she tapped in a corner kick from the left post. Just over five minutes later, junior midfielder Caroline Rubin extended the lead to 2-0 after converting a pass that failed to clear the box.
Coppola sent a pass to freshman forward Lindsay O’Keefe, who found the back of the night and tacked on another goal to the Lions’ growing lead. In the 32nd minute, freshman forward Nina Carlson set up senior midfielder Alexa Pestritto for the fourth Lions’ goal of the first half. Pestritto connected on Carlson’s pass from 12 yards out of the goal to give the Lions a 4-0 advantage heading into halftime.
The team continued its stifling offensive attack in the second half, as Rubin and Pestritto each collected their second goal of the afternoon. Senior midfielder Haley Bodden and sophomore midfielder Lauren McLaughlin also joined the scoring brigade for the Lions. In goal, senior goalkeeper Nicole DiPasquale and junior goalkeeper Alexandra Panasuk combined for the shutout.
On Sunday, the Lions had a hard fought match with Tufts University, which ended in a 2-0 Lions defeat. DiPasquale was tested in the first half, but came up with two saves to keep the score at 0-0.
The tie remained throughout the duration of the second half, as junior forward Julianna Bertolino and O’Keefe each had scoring opportunities that were stifled by the Tufts goalkeeper. Tufts broke the scoreless tie in the 72nd minute and added to the lead in the 83rd minute with another goal to win 2-0.
The Lions finished their season at 17-2-1 being ranked in the top 10 in the nation all season, collecting their third straight New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship and making their 29th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.