Weekly Feature

2014-09-10 / Sports

Thunder soccer looking to get back in the playoff picture

by BRANDON KILIJANSKI
Reporter

Last year, the Mount St. Mary’s soccer team finished the season with a win against Cardinal O’Hara, but failed to make the playoffs.

With a new playoff format this year — only the top four teams of the Monsignor Martin North division make the playoffs — each league game is critical for the Thunder to get back to the postseason.

“If you want to make change [to get into the playoffs], you have to do something different and push yourselves to get a different result,” said head coach Marissa Dauria. “At this point we’d love to win a playoff game, but we would love to just get in the playoffs. Without having any quarterfinals, it really limits you. Essentially every league game in the regular season is a playoff game.”

The Thunder graduated 11 seniors last year, and that leaves this year’s squad with few returning starters.

It’s a fresh roster that’s looking to give Mount St. Mary’s a fresh start.

Guiding a young roster that showcases 10 underclassmen are a trio of captains sophomore Paige Freer, junior Justina Conti and senior Anna Allaire.

Allaire has the most varsity experience on the team as she is starting her third year with the Thunder. She will play right up in the middle as a center back and center midfielder.

“She has the skill and intensity that gives her an edge, and she’s a great example for the rest of the girls,” Dauria said.

Conti is a more vocal leader and has the second most experience on the team as a midfielder.

Freer broke her foot halfway through last season, but has returned as still one of the Thunder’s most skilled players.

Those three along with senior forward Catherine Meegan are the only returning starters on the roster.

They play a major part in the middle of the field and help keep the defense as strong as could be.

“Right now we are looking to play a defensive style with more attacks coming from the outside in,” Dauria said. “We put our strength in the middle of the field and put our quick players out on the flank to get them the best lane for their speed.”

The Thunder have a new goalie this season in junior Sara Ngo.

“She is very aggressive and fearless in there,” Dauria said. “She has a presence on the field and it’s important to have confidence as a goalie.”

The Thunder began this season with a 5-1 victory against O’Hara on Sept. 2. Mount St. Mary’s scored four times in the first half as Freer, Meegan, Hanna Skoney and McKenna O’Rourke each netted a goal.

Emma Mack tallied the fifth goal which came in the second half with an assist by Ruth Riggie.

On Thursday, the Thunder were stymied by Nardin as they lost 3-0, putting their record at an even 1-1.

A highlight of the Thunder’s schedule comes on Tuesday, Oct. 7 as they will play against Nardin in the 5th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness game.

email: brandonk@beenews.com

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