The women’s soccer team entered their senior night game with a 1-15 record, with zero wins in their conference. Before the game started three seniors, Jamie Lisanti, Caitlin Hoffer, and Chloe Zmolek, were honored for their contributions to the program. Goalie Caitlin Hoffer described playing in her last home game when she said, “It was a very surreal feeling to be playing in my senior game. I couldn’t believe how fast the last three seasons had gone leading up to this season and my final home game as a Peacock.”
Marist, the defending MAAC champions, entered the game with a 12-5 record and with an intimidating 6-0 record in the MAAC. The Peacocks beat Marist in double overtime with a score of 2-1. Looking at the end result, the Lady Peacocks clearly looked past the perceptions and stepped up to the challenge. As it was the three seniors last home game, they had something greater worth fighting for.
The first half of the game was scoreless from both sides. Five minutes into the second half however, Rycke Guiney of Marist scored off of a pass from teammate Alysa Murphy. The Peacocks responded to this pressure by netting a goal in the 66th minute. Junior Emily Fenice assisted senior Chloe Zmolek on her third goal of the season to tie up this match. Within the first two halves the Peacocks were outshot 25-9 but held their ground enough to force overtime.
The first overtime consisted of Marist having possession of the ball but more importantly of some great defense from defender Maddie Gregory and goalie Caitlin Hoffer. Gregory blocked a shot that could have ended the game within three minutes of overtime. Hoffer blocked the save attempt from that same shot to force double overtime. With only forty nine seconds left in the second overtime, Hoffer punted to Emily Fenice who would take the ball up the field and score from 18 yards out, effectively ending the game.
The importance of this win will have lasting effects on the seniors, the team that is left for next year, as well as the overall program.
“I think this win will have a positive effect on the team because I feel that it will give us the confidence we have been needing. As for the program, this is the first time in a long time that we have beat Marist so it can not be anything except good for the program,” Hoffer explained.
She also added, “This game was different because it was the last time that this exact team would be stepping on our field for a game. We knew we had to make it a memorable one. This game meant a lot to everyone on the team, not just the seniors.”
This was in fact the first time since 2004 that the Peacocks beat the Red Foxes. Caitlin Hoffer was named MAAC Defensive Player of the Week after knotching a career high 17 saves against Marist. Her performance puts her in the NCAA top ten individual game high saves for the season. Hoffer also had 12 saves against Siena in the same week.
When asked what advice she would like to leave her teammates she responded, “My advice to the girls would be to always stick together and never give up because anything can happen at any given time.”
The Saint Peter’s women’s soccer team has clearly exemplified these words and hopes to use this victory to keep moving forward in the time ahead.