All good things must eventually come to an end. The same is true for the DCTC Blue Knights inaugural women’s soccer season, which closed Nov. 7 in a hard-fought NJCAA district semi-final match.
The game brought the 15-4 Blue Knights to the home field of Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Ill. to face a tough MVCC squad. Despite an early goal (disallowed due to a penalty) and well-executed plays, the Knights were defeated 3-0.
Interviewed after the game, Coach Cam Pagani said the team’s “effort was strong, but wisdom and luck could have helped. No one who saw the game would argue that DCTC does not have a strong team. We will be back next year.”
“The results and coverage of this season will no doubt add to our fledgling culture and help us build a stronger team next year,” Pagani added. “Recruiting for this first year included tons of education in what two-year college soccer is. This effort and brief history will help in that endeavor as we look to add to our depth with incoming first-year students.”
The Blue Knights spent most of the season ranked 15th out of 105 Division I teams in the NJCAA and finished with a 15-5 record. Next year’s roster could see eight strong starters return as second-year players in key positions. Rebecca Noonan led the team with 52 points with 19 goals and 14 assists (25th nationally) while Sheena Lien anchored the central midfield scoring 42 points with 9 goals and 24 Assists (39th nationally).
Mandy Stockton ranked 18th nationally in goal and held her own as a keeper with a 1.316 goals against average, saving 192 shots and yielding 25 goals in 19 games. In addition to an experienced starting line-up, DCTC first-year students scored 71 percent of the team’s goals and assists.
Second-year students Melinda Lien, Rachel Jones and Hillary Keefer will move on, taking valuable experience with them, but recruiting and rebuilding for the 2004 season is already underway.
Coach Pagani is currently evaluating and contacting many of next year’s recruits. For more information on Blue Knights Soccer, contact Coach Cam Pagani at (952) 997-9577.