By Giovanni Gray, news staff
Northeastern women’s soccer is back in action, looking to ride a five-game winning streak to its third consecutive National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament appearance.
Fresh off a 2014 campaign in whichthe team swept the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship, theHuskies started this season on Aug. 21 with a 4-1 loss against the University of South Carolina, ranked 11th nationally. The Huskies rallied against Furman University, winning 3-1, then went on to beat St. Joseph’s College in a 2-1 overtime contest. Six different Huskies scored goals in a 6-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and the program also edged a 2-1 overtime victory against rival Boston University.
Last weekend, sophomore midfielder Hannah Lopiccolo lead the Huskies to a 3-0 shutout victory over the University of Maine. Lopiccolo scored a pair of goals and tallied an assist, netting five points in the contest.
The Huskies start CAA action on Sept. 25 against Elon University and will finish up the regular season on Oct. 25 against conference rival University of Delaware (UD). The CAA championship is scheduled to begin on Nov. 1. Junior co-captain Mackenzie Dowd says that while every game is important, big tests await in conference play.
“Obviously, there are some games, particularly those against crosstown rivals such as Boston University and Boston College, that we especially look forward to and highlight on our schedule,” Dowd said. “Looking ahead to conference play, we will definitely face big tests against Hofstra, James Madison and William & Mary, as they are traditionally the other powerhouse schools in our conference.”
Last season, the Huskies earned victories over both James Madison University and the College of William & Mary, while falling to Hofstra University 1-0 in the regular season. Northeastern then went on to beat Hofstra 3-0 in the final game of the CAA tournament.
Dowd highlighted the return of sophomores Lopiccolo and forward Kayla Cappuzzo, two of the team’s best offensive players, who scored a combined 10 goals last season.
Evidenced by their current winning streak, Dowd believes the Huskies have had a strong start to the season.
“We have been solid and organized defensively and scored at least one goal in each of our first six games,” Dowd said. “Further, we have had numerous different players who have scored, making us even more dangerous in the attack and more difficult for opponents to defend. As the season progresses, we must continue to put our shots on frame and finish quality chances when presented with the opportunity.”
Dowd also praised this season’s freshman class for transitioning into competing at the collegiate level.
The Huskies take on Boston College on Thursday night in Chestnut Hill before returning to Parsons Field to take on Dartmouth College on Sept. 18. The Huskies then go on a three-game road trip against the University of New Hampshire and conference foes Elon University and the College of William & Mary before closing the season on a three-game home stint against CAA rivals Hofstra, Drexel University and UD.
Photo courtesy Northeastern Athletics