“Playing soccer at Case [Western Reserve University] was truly one of the best experiences of my life and I will never forget my time here… This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and there is no place I would preferred to do it at,” said fourth-year career defensive back and co-team captain Neha Cheemalavagu.
Along with Cheemalavagu, graduating fourth-year players midfielder Elle Zadina, defensive back Melanie Crucitt, defensive back Gabby Kiefer and student coach Gabrielle Scariano were recognized for their contributions to the team on Saturday, Nov. 4 before the team’s final match of the 2017 campaign against No. 9 Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Even though CWRU women’s soccer team went on to lose the match 3-1, the night was one to remember for the players and their parents.
CWRU got off to a slow start by allowing three goals in a span of ten minutes in the first half.
The Tartans first scored in the 27th minute when fourth-year career forward Sienna Stritter nailed a corner kick into the lower left side of the net.
CMU scored three minutes later when second-year returning midfielder Emery Noll lofted the ball over second-year returning goalkeeper Lauren Unterborn into the top right corner of the net off a free kick from 25 yards out.
The barrage seemed to cool down a bit, but just before that happened, Stritter scored again for the Tartans in the minute 34 of the game, receiving a pass from first-year forward Ashley Akin and scoring from 15 yards out.
Just as it seemed that the CWRU offense was lifeless, Zadina left her mark by scoring in the minute 77 of game on a penalty kick.
Despite the three goals, Unterborn still made eight saves during the game. Meanwhile, the Tartans goalkeeper did not register a save.
The team finished the season with a record of 7-11-0 overall and 1-6-0 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play.
“I’m always thinking about next season,” said Head Coach Tiffany Crooks. “We’re adding a few talented players to our roster in the early decision process, and a few more will be making final decisions later. We have a strong group of young players returning who have gained great experience this year. The winter [and] spring will be really big for the team. They can set a tone to build upon the UAA growth from this season. I’m excited to see what develops.”