Women's Soccer poised for playoff return
New England College women’s soccer finished their 2008 campaign with a record of 7-10-1 overall and a record of 5-7-1 in The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) just shy of the TCCC Playoffs. The Pilgrims did finish the season with an impressive home record of 6-2-1 beating conference rival Colby-Sawyer in overtime and edging Wentworth 4-3 late in the season.
Returning on offense for the Pilgrims will be junior forwards Katie Haynes and Colby Grant. Haynes (Hudson, N.H.) played in all 18 games for the Pilgrims last season and finished with two goals. Grant started 17 of 18 games in 2008 netting one goal while dishing out two assists.
Sophomore Veronica Hytner (St. James, N.Y.) will lead the Pilgrim midfield in 2009. Hytner finished last season third on the team in scoring with one goal and a team-high five assists. Also seeing time at midfield will be sophomores Tamara Afflerbach (Allentown, Pa.,) Melanie Culver (Westhampton, Mass.) and Michel Humphries (Dunellen, N.J.)
The Pilgrims return a handful of defensive players including seniors Amy Searle (Sandwich, Mass.,) Meghan O’Shaugnessy (Concord, N.H.) and Stevie Hayes (Hopkinton, N.H.) This senior trio helped to hold opponents to 1.91 goals per game and four team shutouts a season ago. Senior Kerry Hughes (Wallkill, NY) will anchor the Pilgrim defense in goal. Hughes started every game in goal for the Pilgrims last season finishing with a .808 save percentage and four shutouts.
Vazquez will look to his huge incoming class to make an immediate impact. The Pilgrims welcome 12 first-year players to help lead them back into the TCCC Playoffs after a two year hiatus.
The Pilgrims open their season on the road taking on Keene State College on Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 6:00 p.m. NEC will open their home schedule on Sunday, Sept. 6 when they take on non-conference opponent Emmanual College at 1:00 p.m.