NEWTON, Mass. -- Mount Ida women's soccer lost a heartbreaking 1-0 match to the visiting Sharks of Simmons College in Saturday night action at Alumni Field. Needing a win to sneak into postseason play, an unlucky bounce of the ball found the back of net in the 84th gave the Sharks the game-winning goal and helped them clinch the 6th seed in Great Northeast Athletic Conference playoffs. Before play began, Mount Ida honored the careers of seniors Hailey Serino (Northwood, N.H.), Rachel Lambert (Lebanon, Conn.), Morgan Rzonca (Bristol, Conn.), Hannah Lilac (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.), and Heather Pollock (Middlton, Mass.). These five seniors have helped guide the program and set a foundation for future success.
It was clear from the first minute that the Mount Ida defense would have to be at the top of their game as the Sharks quickly looked to go on the offensive. A shot and rebound from Ciara Forde (Quincy, Mass.) almost gave Simmons the early lead, but as she would do all throughout the night, AnnaMarie Seiler (Biddeford, Maine) rose to the occasion and made a terrific save. Play would remain mainly in the Mustangs defensive half of the field, with Pollock and freshman Erin Egan (Pleasantville, N.Y.) denying the runs from the Sharks forwards. The team went into the intermission tied at one apiece.
Second half action saw much of the same as the Sharks continued to hound the backline of the Mustangs and put pressure on Seiler in net. A shot from Lauren Brandau (Madison, Conn.) rocketed off the top of the crossbar in the 82nd minute and she tried to follow up with a rebound of the shot, but Seiler was able to make an outstanding save and punch the ball away. The pressure from the Sharks forwards was too much in the 83rd minute as Gabrielle Klane (Franklin, Mass.) was able to launch a shot from far out that bounced around and somehow found the back of the net. With just a few minutes remaining, Mount Ida desperately tried to push into the Simmons half of the field, but the speed of the Sharks defenders was too much and the clock ran out for the Mustangs.
With the win, Simmons head coach Erica Schuling picked up her 100th career victory and the Sharks (9-5-2, 5-4-1 GNAC) will wait to find out their postseason matchup. For Mount Ida, a bittersweet ending to conference play, but the Mustangs picked up a number of key wins in conference play and showed they were a force to be reckoned with. The Mustangs will travel to Pine Manor on Thursday for their final game of the season, with the start set for 7:00pm.
Founded in 1899, Mount Ida College is a small, private college in Newton, Massachusetts, providing career-focused programs built upon a strong foundation in the social sciences, humanities and the arts, all developed and implemented to prepare our approximately 1,450 students for success. The College is comprised of the School of Applied Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Design and the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, awarding associate, bachelor and master's degrees. www.mountida.edu