Women’s Soccer win Patriot League Title

Justin Schaumberger, Sports Co-Editor

The Bison women’s soccer team ended the Patriot League season on top as they knocked off top ranked Boston University by a score of 1-0 in the final on Nov. 7. The win was the Bison’s fifth ever Patriot League title. Along with the title, the Bison clinched a spot in the NCAA tournament where they will play number one seed Rutgers in the first round on Nov. 13. 

Despite starting the season projected to finish second to last, the Bison were able to emerge as the best team in the Patriot league after their 1-0 victory in the tournament final. This game marked the fourth consecutive shutout by the Orange and Blue, including a shutout in each of their three Patriot League tournament matches. The game itself was a tight affair with neither team able to find a quality scoring chance until the Bison scored off a corner kick in the 75th minute. Teresa Deda ’25, who was later named tournament MVP, whipped in a corner kick from the right side into a dangerous area. After a goalmouth scramble the ball was turned in by a Boston defender to give the Bison the lead. 

Boston pushed hard after that to attempt to find an equalizer, but the Bison defense held firm. Goalkeeper Jenna Hall ’24 was able to gather two dangerous crosses to prevent good scoring chances. The defense for the Bison was exceptional and held Boston to very few opportunities towards the end of the match. Defensive midfielder Petie Nassetta ’23 managed to win the ball back several times to break up Terrier attacks. Meanwhile the back line of Alana Carlucci ’22, Leanne Engemann ’23, Brooke Tracey ’24 and Claire Mensi ’22 were terrific once again to preserve the shutout. Senior co-captain Holly Burns ’22 was also crucial for the Bison playing 75 important minutes after returning from an injury. 

“Winning a patriot league championship has been the goal ever since I (and my class) got to campus August 2018. To finally get to achieve that with this team is still surreal. We’ve worked so hard the past few months – I’m so proud of everyone I couldn’t imagine finishing off our last year here any other way” said captain Claire Mensi ’22.

In order to make the final, the Bison had to overcome a tough match on the road at Navy. This was a matchup of the two highest scoring teams in the Patriot League during the regular season and yet the two teams entered overtime tied 0-0. The Bison were able to generate numerous chances in regulation as they hit the crossbar three separate times in the match. Meanwhile the defense for the Orange and Blue was equally impressive, limiting the Mids to nine shots and only one on target. This was the first time the Mids had been shutout this season by a Patriot League opponent and only the fourth time in their past 20 matches. The breakthrough in the match came from a slightly unlikely source. Deda, who has 12 assists on the season ranking first in the Patriot League and eighth most in the nation, picked up the ball about 15 yards outside of the box in the 93rd minute. Deda beat two defenders and hit a left footed shot from outside of the 18 that rocked into the bottom corner. The golden goal gave the Bison a 1-0 victory and a spot in the Patriot League finals. 

With the Patriot League tournament victory, the Bison earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament where they will take on number one seed Rutgers. Rutgers is currently ranked fourth in the latest United Coaches Poll and were undefeated in Big Ten play this season. The Scarlet Knights only three losses on the season were back to back losses in early September to Princeton and Georgetown and a loss in the Big Ten Championship game against Michigan. The match is scheduled for Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ. 

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