By Giovanni Gray, news staff

The Northeastern University (NU) women’s soccer season ended as the team fell to James Madison University (JMU) in a low-scoring game on Sunday afternoon in the first round of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) playoffs.

The Huskies entered the game as the fifth seed in the CAA tournament with the Dukes holding the fourth spot.

Northeastern registered its first shot on goal in the 26th minute off the leg of sophomore midfielder Hannah Lopiccolo, but it was saved by JMU goalkeeper Ellen Forrest. The Huskies had a string of opportunities in the next few minutes, when Lopiccolo and freshman midfielder Nicole Gorman each took another shot, and junior midfielder Breeana Koemans took two corner kicks. The half ended in a 0-0 tie.

NU created even more chances in the second half, marking a pair of shots and corner kicks in the first four minutes of the period, but the score remained tied at 0 through the end of regulation.  

The deciding goal came in overtime in the 99th minute, when JMU junior Ashley Herndon scored on a penalty kick to end the game at 1-0.  

“It was a tough way to go out, that’s for sure, but you know, we’ve gotta have it motivate us,” Head Coach Tracey Leone said. “I thought we fought, and any coach would like to see their team, if they’re going to go down, to go down swinging.”

Leone noted that, despite the loss, the team improved its play from the first to the second half. NU outshot JMU 10-5 in the second half of play, while also out-cornering the Dukes 3-1.  

The coach added that a few injuries to key players, such as Lopiccolo and sophomore forward Kayla Cappuzzo, added extra difficulty to the squad’s conference schedule.

The Huskies, who finished with an overall record of 11-8-1, will be back in action next fall.

“The minute the season ends, you’re always thinking about the next one,” Leone said.

Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics