Disappointing loss in Liberty League final

Coaches plan to use first Liberty League final appearance as learning experience for team

FRESHMAN FORWARD EMILY KAPLAN CLEARS the ball away from a William Smith College defender. (file photo)

Women’s soccer’s history-making season came to an end on Saturday, when RPI lost to William Smith College 4–0 in the Liberty League Championship Game, finishing the season.

The Engineers advanced the to Championship game by beating Vassar 1–0 last Tuesday, marking Women’s Soccer’s first Liberty League Tournament win in school history.

RPI had faced William Smith earlier this season, losing 1–0 in a tight game. To prepare for their rematch, the team looked back at file from the previous game, according to head coach Bre Nasypany.

Unlike the regular season, playoff games go into penalty kicks after both overtimes. As a result, assistant coach Shelby Stromerson ’15 noted that the team worked on penalty kicks after every practice to better prepare.

When analyzing the loss to William Smith, Stromerson noted that RPI was able to open each half with intensity and good attacks, but that William Smith was able to overcome this start and play their game.

“Like many teams of their caliber, William Smith was able to quickly get into and maintain their rhythm. Limiting their scoring opportunities would have come from our rhythm and style of play working for us, and though the ideas on defense and offense were the right ones we seemed to be just a bit off,” Stromerson said.

With 17 shots and 11 shots on goal, William Smith kept RPI’s defense busy throughout the whole game.

“On offense, the Engineers were just not able to capitalize off of their three shots. This ultimately cost RPI the game,” said Nasypany.

“We had our opportunities and didn’t finish them. William Smith had their opportunities and finished them. Those are the situations that we need to improve on moving forward in order to compete with the No. 1 team in the nation next season,” she said.

Looking back at the season, Nasypany added that this one loss does not take away from the team’s accomplishments. “We had a great year and I don’t think the score necessarily depicted the type of game that was played,” Nasypany said.

Looking forward, Nasypany added that winning a playoff game for the first time gives the Engineers momentum going forward. “We know what we were good at and we know the things we need to improve on. Hopefully we have proved something about the character of our women and of our team this season.”

Stromerson echoed her sentiments. “Making it to the Liberty League Championship for the first time in program history is a huge testament to the hard work the girls have put in this season. From the beginning they prioritized positivity and cohesiveness, and us as a staff couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve accomplished since, and they’ll continue to raise the bar higher.”