Last-game tie puts Hawks on the road

Tyger Allen, Sports Manager

For the women’s soccer team, the time has come to defend their conference championship title. After taking the second seed in the playoffs a season ago, the Hawks were a few spots away from that with a 4-3 record going into their final game of the regular season.

The Commonwealth Coast Conference playoff structure is an eight-team bracket, meaning all but one team make it. This year, it’s Nichols College that will not participate with their 0-8 conference record.

The season has not been to the standard of what the Hawks have been used to. The team has not suffered a multi-loss season in the CCC since 2009.

“Our conference has gotten stronger,” head coach Tim Moody said. “Everybody can beat everybody. We were unlucky against Wentworth. We beat Endicott, who is the best team.”

The team suffered three losses this season. The first was to the University of New England at home where, despite landing six more shots on goal, they fell to the Nor’easters. In the rematch of last year’s championship, the Hawks also lost to Gordon College in a back and forth 3-2 match that had the Fighting Scots come out on top. Their final loss of the season came against Wentworth Institute of Technology in a surprise upset from a team that had only one win going into their game.

In their last conference game of the regular season, the Hawks played Western New England University. The Golden Bears came into the match with a 4-1-2 record that had them in third place.

In the final CCC game of the regular season, the Hawks were in control of where they ended the year and their position in the conference tournament. If they won their game against WNE, the Hawks would jump spots and take fourth place to end the year and secure a home game against UNE. With a loss, the Hawks would sit in sixth place and await the outcome of the rained-out Gordon and Curry match that happened earlier on Tuesday.

RWU was projected to finish second overall in the preseason coaches’ poll, so living up to that was not possible. But taking home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs was.

Against WNE, the Hawks spent a lot of the half in their own end. But on a shot that hit the hand of a Golden Bear inside the goalkeeper’s box, the Hawks got a chance on the penalty kick that ensued. Senior Raleigh LeMiere-Barnes took the shot and put the ball in the top left corner of the net for the game’s first goal.

It took until the second half for the Golden Bears to get on the board and they did so with less than ten minutes remaining in regulation. Like at Curry College in Milton, Mass., the rain arrived and made for a cold overtime. Both teams had a chance to end the game in two overtime periods, but could not win it. The game was the first tie of the Hawks season.

The Hawks will likely play their first round game of the postseason at Western New England on Oct. 27 unless a league ruling of the Curry and Gordon game changes.

“Maybe we’re a better grass team, so if we go to their field on Saturday, then so be it,” said Moody, “I’m OK with that.”