The ball hurdled towards Saint Peter’s goal with a little less than five minutes on the clock. The Marist Red Foxes watched it near the net until freshman goalie Victoria Scarratt made an effortless save, maintaining the Peacock’s shutout win.
“The season has been very intense,” head coach Melissa Sherwood said. “The players worked hard to improve their performance level and were rewarded with their first conference win in over three years.”
The MAAC win was the first since the team defeated Canisius 3-1 on Sept. 18, 2014. This victory was also the Red Foxes’ first conference loss of the year and the Peacock’s first win over Canisius since the 2012 season. Junior Barbara Paiva snagged the game-winning goal in the second half.
Saint Peter’s women’s soccer finished the 2017-18 season with an overall record of 3-13-1, just above .200. Within the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Peacocks were 1-8-1. Their record contrasts with last season where they went 1-13-2 overall and 0-9-1 in the MAAC.
“We are improving all the time,” Sherwood said. “Although three wins on the record is an achievement for this program, we are disappointed not to have added one or two more because we know we are capable.”
Close victories occurred for Saint Peter’s in a couple of games such as on Sept. 6 against Wagner and in a conference road game at Iona on Oct. 18.
Against Wagner, sophomore Victoria Babcock had an opportunity to tie up the game in the second half with a shot on goal, but it was ultimately saved by Wagner goalkeeper Delaney Beck. Scarratt was unable to win a one-on-one battle against Wagner, extending the deficit to 2-0, but recorded another save a few moments after. Juniors Kelsey Nugent and Paiva had a pair of missed opportunities near the end of the contest.
Scarratt racked up five saves with 48:24 minutes remaining before leaving the game due to an injury in their contest against Iona. Senior Taylor McLean had two saves within seven minutes, but gave up the Gaels’ only goal. Senior Carlee Gonzalez had the only shot on goal that game.
However, among the 17 teams the Peacocks played this season, it was the Quinnipiac Bobcats who handed the team their most difficult defeat of the season.
“The heavy defeat at home to Quinnipiac was hard to take,” Sherwood said. “But the character the girls showed to bounce back with a good performance on the road to Rider was tremendous; and then to go on and beat Marist in conference after that was incredible.”
Despite ending with a losing record, the team continues to support one another and maintain a strong mentality along with a remarkable level of grit, determination and desire, according to Sherwood.
“I think, most importantly, the players have learned is that they belong,” she continued. “They belong in the MAAC. They belong in Division I athletics, and they can win. They have learned that they can beat anyone.”
The women’s soccer season came to an end after a 3-1 loss to hOURglass rival Rider in the first round of the MAAC championship at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Even though disappointment struck when they didn’t advance to the second round, the time they all got to spend with one another was “invaluable,” according to Sherwood.