Written by Clair Booher
After an exciting season, the men’s and women’s soccer team season came to an end at the hand of the Trinity Tigers. Although both teams are disappointed, they have every reason to hold their heads high. Both teams have had an impressive season and proudly finished 2nd in conference.
The women played Trinity first on Saturday to determine who would place first in conference. They fell victim to unfavorable penalties called by the referee. In the first ten minutes of the game, Trinity was given a penalty kick and scored. Trinity was then given a free kick in the 34th minute and scored. These two unfortunate plays weighed heavily on the Lady Pirate’s mentality. Even though the second half was well fought, Trinity scored two more goals and sealed their place at the top of the SCAC conference. The Lady Pirates still finished second in SCAC, moving up three places from their 5th place finish last season, and will most likely have some players recognized in post conference awards.
The end of the season for the Lady Pirates also brought an end to the soccer careers of four seniors. Senior defender Amanda Gunzelman, defender Andrea Garcia, defender Mimi Tan, and midfielder Jess West played their last game for Southwestern.
Gunzelman, a senior captain this year, finishes her career having started as a defender since her freshman year. Gunzelman was also just named to the ESPN The Magazine academic all-district second team along with junior Casey Greir. Garcia was also a senior captain this year and a great team leader. Tang was a third team All-SCAC award winner as a first year and All-SCAC second team as a sophomore. West, after being abroad in China for a year, rejoined the team as a senior and made a great impact.
The men’s team played after the women’s team in a back and forth match with Trinity. The referee was once again not on SU’s side when Trinity scored their first goal off of a penalty kick in the second half. With less than five minutes left in the game, Junior David Lozano tied the game and took it to overtime. This was the first time the nationally ranked Trinity was taken into overtime this season. Unfortunately, with 21 seconds left in overtime Trinity scored and ended the game. The match was back and forth and was hard fought. The Pirates proved that they have what it takes to play against some of the best in the nation. Although the Pirates were disappointed, they still finished 2nd the SCAC conference and also have the opportunity to win post-season SCAC awards.
The men’s team also has to say goodbye to ten seniors this year. Defenders Troy Hutchens and Nate Ellis, midfielders Brian Kasper, Scott Smith, Kyle Strine, Daniel Webb, Cory Fujimoto, and Preston Hollis, and forwards Ben Hoffman, and John Yi. Hutchens and Ellis have both helped the Pirates have a dominant defense and both started the majority of their careers at SU. All the midfielders have their own strengths that have greatly helped the team. Strine was SCAC third team All Conference three years in a row, and many others can expect recognition this year.
All these seniors will be very much missed and contributed great to the success of the Pirates. Both the men’s and the women’s soccer teams have every reason to hold their heads high at the end of this season. With this successful year, both teams have every reason to believe that they can be win conference next year and make it far in the playoffs.
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