By Maddie Sattler, News Staff
Coming off a 9-9-1 season, the Northeastern women’s soccer team is looking to turn some heads this upcoming fall with a new-look roster.
Their 9-9-1 overall record is respectable at .500, but the Huskies were quite competitive against Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) competition going 7-3. Their season ended on penalty kicks in the CAA quarterfinals.
This year Northeastern was picked to finish sixth in the conference in the preseason coaches poll. Hofstra University, the College of William and Mary, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, James Madison University and Drexel University were all chosen to finish ahead of the Huskies.
“We have a great new group meshing with a really talented returning group,” head coach Tracey Leone said. “I’m excited about the potential, I think we have a lot of players that we can play this year.”
The Huskies added 11 freshmen to this year’s roster to go along with a red-shirt freshman, five sophomores, eight juniors and one senior.
Among those returning are senior forward Hanna Terry, who started all 19 games last season scoring two goals and nine assists. Junior goaltender Paige Burnett will also be back for the Huskies — she has started every game in net for the past seasons and will look to be a leading voice on the field.
Junior midfielder Hannah O’Donnell is the leading returning scorer having notched four goals and two assists last year. Sophomore defender Shayna Blackwood and junior defender Awnalisa Walker will also be back this season after seeing time in every game last year.
The Huskies return eight players who saw action in at least 10 games last season.
“This is the strongest Northeastern team that I’ve ever seen and I’m really, really excited,” Terry said. “We’re a championship team.”
In their first exhibition game of the preseason, Northeastern took on the Boston Breakers, the women’s professional soccer team of the city. Although the Huskies were on the losing end of a 4-2 score, there were a lot of positives to take from the game.
“I thought we did quite well, I thought we had some good series and we kept the ball at moments really well,” Leone said. “We created some great chances and I thought all three of our keepers did well.”
The Breakers did all of their scoring in the first half of the game. Northeastern came out in the second half playing much stronger on the defensive end and controlling the Breakers’ forwards. Freshman forward Haley Sinclair scored both goals for the Huskies.
“This was a great starting point,” Terry said. “Playing against a professional team where these players that we were playing against are unbelievable.”
Leone did a lot of substituting all game long, so everyone that was able saw action on the field.
The Huskies have two more preseason games. Thursday they take on Boston University in New Hampshire and Sunday they will host Colgate at Parsons Field.
“This preseason really has been the best one that we’ve had since I’ve been at Northeastern,” Leone said. “So now it’s time to break it down to the nuts and bolts and do more functional work.”
The regular season begins Aug. 23 at University of California at Los Angeles and the home opener will be Aug. 30 against Northwestern University.