By Nick Carson
KUTZTOWN, Pa. – The KU women’s soccer team (13-7) finished their season with a 6-1 loss to nationally ranked California University of Pennsylvania (18-2-2). The loss came in the second round of the NCAA Atlantic Regional Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 17th.
The troubles came for KU early in the away match, with the Cal U. Vulcans scoring five goals of their six goals in the first half. The Vulcans’ first two goals came in the first 5 minutes of the match, and Vulcan forward Erin Hogan scored two consecutive goals.
The Golden Bears showed a great effort and a refusal to give up in the second half, with junior mid-fielder Hanna Fenstermacher scoring her second goal of the year to ensure that KU would not be shut out.
Coach Erik Burstein attributed the tournament atmosphere to the disappointing loss, and said “Because it’s a young team, we needed the experience of being here”. He also said, “Of course, we played Cal closer the first time we played them, but we need the experience of winning a tournament game and playing again two days later.”
Despite the loss, coach Burstein will likely reassure his team to focus on the positives of the tournament.This includes KU’s winning their first ever Atlantic Region win over their PSAC rivals, the West Chester University Golden Rams (13-8). The tournament win came on Friday, Nov. 15th, in a 2-0 shutout over the Rams, who had knocked KU out of the PSAC championships in a 2-1 game just ten days earlier.
Senior goalkeeper Alina Rakiewicz did not make many saves in her final game as a Golden Bear, with the defense allowing just eight total shots, one of which went on goal. Compared to KU’s 18 total shots, with seven being on goal, it’s clear that KU was determined to win their first Atlantic Regional match.
Coach Burstein is optimistic about his many returning players, and thinks the program’s future is bright. “We have a great group here, so the development going through the spring is significant,” Burstein said. “They’re going to be a lot better, faster and sharper. We look forward to see how these very good players progress moving forward.”