Women's Soccer has Best Season since Joining the SAC

BREVARD, N.C. – Head coach Shigeyoshi Shinohara felt that even though the season ended without a postseason berth, the Brevard College women’s soccer team still had its best year since joining the South Atlantic Conference (SAC), going 6-11 overall and 3-8 in the league.

Senior Lizzie Graham was the first women’s soccer player named SAC Player of the week while juniors Alexis Griffis and Katherine Nickels were both All-SAC honorable mentions. Graham and Nickels each had four goals, which were tied for the team lead, and eight points. Coach Shinohara also thought that his team was competitive in many of the games with a strong group of veterans and using the reserves program to give the student-athletes that understood their roles.

“This was the first year of the reserves program which really helped out for them to develop as a team and individuals,” said Shinohara. “This helped out with team chemistry throughout the season and the assistant coaches, Juan Mascaro and Kristin Rosato contributed to this with their on-going support and abilities to help the team.”

Brevard’s first conference win came against Carson-Newman during a 1-0 victory on September 27. The next four conference games were tough but the Tornados regrouped and were more competitive in their final five contests, which were decided by two goals or less.

Besides Graham and Nickels, senior Megan Jenkins and sophomore Anita Maryskova each had two goals. Juniors Shannon Bava and Alexis Griffis each dished out two assists, which were good for best on the team while freshman goalkeeper, Jocelyn Springer had a solid rookie season in net, playing over 1,500 minutes with four shutouts and a goals against average (GAA) of 2.28.

“Against Catawba and Anderson, we were still in the games and were competitive,” explained Shinohara. “One of those games went to double-overtime while the second game against Anderson, we were still in it until late when they scored a goal with under four minutes left.”

Brevard ended the season strongly with three straight victories, two of which came in conference. A double overtime victory against Mars Hill on October 25 secured by a penalty kick by Graham began the streak, before a 2-0 win three days later over non-conference opponent Chowan. The Tornados then celebrated their final home game of the season with a 3-1 win over Coker on November 1.

“The team was in a fight for the conference tournament berth late in the season, which is something that hasn’t happened here a lot,” said Shinohara.

Shinohara hopes the late season surge will help carry momentum into Brevard’s spring training and ultimately through next season to continue the success and hopes to contend for a berth in the conference tournament.

Featured image courtesy of Gerry Wall. Click here to view more photos by Gerry.

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