At the National Championship that took place in Asheville, NC last week, the Lady Bobcats had a great showing. Many coaches, supporters, and specialists complimented our team by commenting that we are the only team that had the potential to stop last year’s National Champions, the University of Maine Fort Kent.
In the quarterfinals, the Lady Bobcats faced a very strong team, Alfred State College. In the regular season, Alfred State upset our team with a score of 3:2. This game was a perfect opportunity to take revenge. The game started quickly, with both teams being afraid to make a mistake. Our team played well defensively and was very creative in attack. Closer to the middle of the first half, our team had few scoring opportunities. It was clear at that point that the first goal of the game was just matter of time. Team captain, Amanda Belsito (senior, Bayshore, NY) opened the scoring at 32:52 into the game when she scored after a corner kick by another team captain Nicolette Weir (senior, Mount Vernon, NY). “We spent a lot of time working on set pieces in practices, and I am glad that it showed in the game” commented coach Grigorita after the first goal.
After the goal, our team took full control of the game. The first team All-American, Adela Racic (sophomore, Utica, NY), scored the second goal of the game after a breakaway. The final goal that put the game out of reach in the 87th minute was scored by Nicolette Weir (senior, Mount Vernon, NY), when she capitalized on a penalty kick that was given for a fault against Shareka Joseph (freshman, Brooklyn NY). Alfred State could not score a single goal, as our goalkeeper Megan Hagadorn (junior, Schoharie, NY) made eight saves to assure the shutout. The final score showed an impressive 3:0 for our team.
The Lady Bobcats advanced to take on #1 University of Maine Fort Kent in the semifinals. “It was a great game for us. We analyzed our opponent’s game and we fixed the mistakes that we made in our regular season game. We knew that Alfred State team takes many shots, so we tried to limit that and tried to keep them far away from our box. I am glad that it worked and I am glad that we made the next round” said coach Grigorita after the game.
In the semi-finals, our team could not do much against Maine Fort Kent’s strong team. The score was even for most of the first half, however, the Bengals soon broke through our defense three times. In the second half, our team tried to turn the game around without much success. The final score was 6:0. “They have a strong team and we needed to have a perfect game in order to win today. It is a great learning experience and I am glad that that most of my players had a chance to play” commented coach Grigorita. “We had a great year; we made it to the final four; we did our best and we left everything on the field this year. I am proud of the girls, they have done excellent work to bring this program to new heights and I would like to thank them for that.”
The result of this year for the Lady Bobcats is an outstanding record of 10-4. Four players received All-American Awards: First team- Adela Racic (sophomore, Utica, NY), Second team- Nicolette Weir (senior, Mount Vernon, NY), Honorable mention- Kai Jacobs (junior, Antigua, W.I.) and Amanda Belsito (senior, Bayshore, NY). Four players received Academic All-American: Nancy Felix (sophomore, Yonkers, NY), Sheniqua Greenland (sophomore, Queens, NY), Adela Racic (sophomore, Utica, NY) and Megan Hagadorn (junior, Schoharie, NY). Two players made the 2015 National Championship All-Tournament Team: Amanda Belsito and Nicolette Weir. Great year and good luck to our graduating seniors.