Record-breaking season cut short in semifinals

Women’s soccer “lit a fire” but failed to keep it burning

Written By Rachael McKriger, Staff Writer

A record-breaking season for the Point Park women’s soccer team has come to an end.

Point Park began River States Conference (RSC) playoff action last Saturday against Indiana University East. The two teams had already met up this season, facing off on Nov. 25, where Point Park secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory.

However, Indiana University East had other plans in the second tilt.

This time at Highmark Stadium, Indiana University East got on the board in the first half, with a goal from Evie Stepaniak in the 30th minute. To start off the second half, it took Indiana University East only two minutes for Kayla Amidon to double the lead to 2-0.

Goalkeeper Ashtyn Webb said that this time, Point Park focused more on defense.

“We forced them more inside so they couldn’t play balls from the outside and cross them in the box,” Webb explained. “We played with three in the back the first time we played them. We were so disorganized and ended up going back to a four back halfway through the first half. Playing them this second time around, my defense had stepped up big time and I couldn’t be more thankful for the three I had in front of me that night.”

Despite a 2-0 deficit, Point Park didn’t let up.

In the 60th minute, freshman midfielder Britney Adrian scored on a header off a Gabby Widman free kick. Widman, a junior, said the goal “lit a fire” for the Pioneers.

“It was do or die for us from the start of the game,” Widman said. “But knowing that we could find a way to get the ball in the back of the net gave us some hope. We had them on their heels for most of the game which pushed us to fight and want to score again. We were trying to do anything to win. Finding a way to win was the way to go. Now, unfortunately, we didn’t get the result we wanted but we didn’t stop until that final whistle.”

With the season now over, Point Park officially sends off eight seniors, including defender Abby Magilocca. With her final college match over, Magilocca said that emotions were high for herself — and the whole team — after the match.

“We all love each other like family and I will miss getting through the tough times that are a part of soccer and making memories with all of them,” Magilocca said. “There is nothing else like being a part of a team, especially when you have such amazing people on that team, so I’ll definitely miss that!”

Meanwhile, the remaining members of the team will rest for a bit, but then will get ready to gear up for next season.

“Sadly we lose some key players, but a majority of the girls are coming back,” Webb said. “Losing two solid defenders [Magilocca and Asia Pennock-Franke], who have done a lot for me, is going to be tough but we have solid defenders coming back for senior year and hopefully some new talent to step up as well. I’m hoping we continue our success going into our spring season following with the fall season.”

Webb is also looking back at the positives of this season, including an eight-game winning streak and placing first in the RSC.

“Starting off the season 0-4 with losing some games at the last second or having the lead the entire game until the end is pretty rough,” Webb said. “But, the one thing I’ve always liked about this group of girls is that we never give up. No matter what the score is whether we are winning or losing we keep playing until the final whistle blows. So when we finally had momentum with our eight-game streak we were feeling great.”