Women’s Soccer Season in Review

The Colgate Women’s Soccer Team ended their record season with their first Patriot League Championship appearance since 2014. Finishing up the regular season with a 3-3-1 record and a win against Boston University with a double overtime goal by senior midfielder Sage DiGiulio, the team advanced to the finals of the Patriot League Tournament. Facing Navy in the championship, the Raiders battled the top-seeded Midshipmen hard with the game still tied after the end of extra time. Unfortunately, the Raiders were unable to emerge victorious in the contest, losing by a 4-1 margin in penalty kicks. 

Following the let down of a cancelled Fall season, this Spring was quite challenging for the team. They faced a new set of obstacles with games constantly being cancelled, rescheduled or postponed. Coach Lyndse Hokanson mentioned that the team played more games and traveled more miles than anyone in the league, a true testament to the sacrifices the players were making to be able to compete each week. 

Hannah Pinkus, a junior midfielder, quotes the team’s mantra “Adapt and Achieve” as encapsulating the season and the team as a whole. 

“We were thrown a lot of curveballs and never knew what was going to happen day-to-day in terms of COVID-19,” Pinkus said. “However, our team handled the season with grace and resilience from start to the finish. We showed up each day dedicated to the team and to each other.” 

Much of this attitude can be attributed to the new style of play and principles implemented by Coach Hokanson.

“We had a huge shift in our mentality this year that allowed us to be so successful,” Pinkus said. The new coaching staff instilled this positive change, and every single person was dedicated to changing the culture.”

Not only did the new coaching staff contribute to the successful culture of the team, but so did the seniors. Coach Hokanson is thankful that the seniors have laid the roots for the program to continue on an upward trajectory.

“We have seen how quickly things can be taken from us, so we did our best not to take a single day for granted, and constantly reminded each other how lucky we were to be playing,” senior midfielder Mia Ciardiello said.

In thinking about postseason play, Ciardiello said: “We had nothing to lose and everything to gain. And with that mentality, we played the best soccer of our careers in the postseason.”

Pinkus echoed Ciardiello sentiment.

“During the tournament, we wanted to prove everyone that doubted us wrong, and we went into the postseason confident and determined,” she said.

While the loss of the Championship still stings, Pinkus wants to use that fuel to add fire to next season. Coach Hokanson believes that in the future, the team will be able to add the missing pieces to make everything come together.

“You have to get to the big games and play in them before you can win them,” she said.

Ultimately, Coach Hokanson and the rest of the coaching staff is proud that the team had the experience of playing in the postseason, and beyond that, seeing that the Raiders belong there. With a new, budding team culture, and the experience of the Championship, the Women’s Soccer Team is excited to come back in the fall stronger than ever. 

“We will continue to work on growing the culture of our team as one that represents this institution with great pride, fierce competitiveness, resilience and respect,” Coach Hokanson said. 

Ciardiello leaves the team with some advice for her fellow teammates that speaks to the power of the team this year: “Be grateful for every chance you get to lace up your cleats. It may not look or feel as you imagined, but there is always a reason to be grateful. Lean on your teammates because they want the best for you. Play everyday like it’s your last, and love what you do.”