Women’s Soccer Captures MAC Championship

#30 Kaylee Sturans winds up to score.

Gabe Bunn, Reporter

The Misericordia women’s soccer team finished the regular season with a 16-1 record and looked to go all the way in the MAC championship and the NCAA tournament. The Cougars are currently ranked fourth in the nation and second in Region 4.

The team has been nothing but dominant, outscoring its opponents, 69-9, in 17 games, allowing it to be named the top seed in the MAC Freedom Tournament, giving the Cougars home field advantage throughout the tournament. Prior to the start of the season, Misericordia was not ranked nationally in the top 25.

“Coming off of the spring season, I expected our team to be pretty good,” said Colleen Kinsella, a junior midfielder majoring in Early Childhood Education. “We knew we had a lot of freshmen coming in that would give us another good team and give us some energy that we needed.”

The Cougars did get help from some freshmen this year as they accumulated 34 total points for the Cougars throughout the regular season. Freshman Julia Beck leads all freshmen on the team in points with four goals and five assists.

The Cougars’ hardest this year was against Carnegie Mellon. They won that game, 1-0, but needed extra time to find the back of the net for the win. Carnegie Mellon, currently ranked 15th in the nation, was ranked fifth when it played Misericordia.

“It was definitely a statement game against them,” Kate Field, senior midfielder majoring in Occupational Therapy, said of the Carnegie Mellon game, “Everyone did their job; we defended really well and we were able to find the goal right at the end. Just playing against a team at that level gave us the confidence we needed.”

Team confidence was at an all-time high after the win against Carnegie Mellon and the Cougars jumped from unranked to13th in the nation, dropping Carnegie Mellon to 23rd. The game was a turning point for the Cougars and made them realize they have what it takes to be a top team in the nation.

The Cougars were on a roll to start the season, going 8-0, including their win over Carnegie Mellon, with their only loss to The University of Scranton.

“The loss definitely told us a lesson,” Field said of the Scranton loss. “We can’t get complacent. It’s any given day and Scranton showed up and we didn’t have our best game.

“You have to give it your all every single game and the lesson learned from that game will be applied to the future games,” Field added.

The lessons learned from that loss were applied as the Cougars won their next three games with a margin of 18-2, the largest margin over any three games this season. They have been undefeated since the loss to Scranton and looked to carry their momentum into the MAC tournament and, hopefully, the national championship.

The Cougars have been red hot since dropping the game to Scranton. They faced Wilkes University, a team they beat, 9-2, in their last meeting, in the opening round of the MAC championship.

“We are preparing like any other game,” Zoee Farr, senior defending majoring in Healthcare Management pre-DPT, said prior to the Wilkes game. “We are not taking them lightly because they have confidence from their last win, and they are going to come out hard. We are looking to score early and set the tone.”

Misericordia scored early and often against Wilkes, defeating the Colonels, 5-0. on Saturday. The Cougars then defeated Stevens, a team that beat Misericordia in the 2019 championship game, 1-0, to win their seventh MAC Freedom championship in nine years.  Farr was named MAC Freedom Tournament Most Valuable Player.

The women’s soccer team was scheduled to begin playing in the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 13.