By Jocelyn Visnov, Editor-in-Chief
Women’s soccer celebrated their graduating seniors in the pouring rain with a home game in Gaelic Park on Oct. 14. While the team ultimately lost against Niagara with a final score of 2-1, these seniors may not be ready to leave the sport just yet.
The game began with high spirits as the team tried to take home a victory for their seniors. According to GoJaspers, the team began the game with a goal by freshman Talia Omer, putting the Jaspers in the lead.
Niagara responded with a goal of their own, followed by a penalty kick that put them in a 2-1 lead at halftime. The Jaspers continued to put up a fight as neither team scored in the second half leaving Niagara with the victory.
“We played quality soccer and created dangerous chances,” head coach Brendan Lawler said in an interview with athletics. “Our seniors and their teammates gave everything to get a positive result today. It didn’t go our way but we are very proud of them!”
The team’s graduating seniors include Reina Callahan, Samantha Derrico and Lanah Mackey. During halftime, they were joined by family members on the field for a special presentation including flowers and highlights of their Jasper soccer careers.
“Niagara was a good team, and we knew they were going to be a good team,” Derrico said. “It was a torrential downpour on a senior night, we were soaking wet playing through it all. We definitely were all very emotional.”
While the team unfortunately was unable to bring home a win for their seniors, Derrico noted this didn’t seem to dull their spirits.
“We didn’t come out on top, but I don’t think that was detrimental to us because we felt how hard everyone worked so that really didn’t ruin our day,” Derrico said. “Our team does a whole little celebration, they find their own ways to celebrate us in the locker room and then we go out on the field and celebrate with our families.”
The three seniors first set foot in Gaelic Park in the fall of 2020 during COVID, making it an abnormal season to kick off their college soccer careers.
“We didn’t have a regular fall season,” Callahan said. “All we did was practice. We didn’t have any games, we didn’t have any scrimmages, all we did was practice and then we had our season during the spring, which was being cut in half. We only played like five or six games, which was highly unusual.”
Due to the unusual start and shortened season during their freshman year, each of the three seniors has been granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA.
“I don’t think I’m ready to really give up something I’ve done for so long,” Derrico said. “So coming back for a fifth year, I think it’s something we’re all heavily, heavily considering.”
Derrico mentioned that she feels this year’s team has become particularly close to one another.
“There’s not a person on the team that you can’t go to or that you don’t feel comfortable talking to,” Derrico said. “I think we’re all very happy with how hard we push for each other knowing that the person next to you is gonna work that hard. For me personally, this has been one of the closest teams.”
Women’s soccer will compete in their final game of the season on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Watch the team face off against Quinnipiac in Gaelic Park at 7 p.m.