Photo courtesy of David Weigel, Jr. | Members of the Xavier women’s soccer team celebrate a goal in its 2-1 victory over Seton Hall last Thursday. The win made the Musketeers a lock for its first ever Big East Tournament appearance.
The Xavier women’s soccer team clinched its first ever Big East Tournament bid with a 2-1 win over the Seton Hall Pirates at home last Thursday.
The Musketeers controlled the lead in the first half, getting a goal from freshman forward Sydney Schembri in the 28th minute. The goal was assisted on a header pass from sophomore midfielder Abby O’Keefe. With the goal against Seton Hall, Schembri collected her sixth of the season, which is a team high. That brings her total points through goals and assists to 12 on the season, which also leads the team.
Seton Hall tied the game halfway through the second half with a goal in the 67th minute off the foot of Lauren Hall.
Ten minutes later, O’Keefe tallied her second assist of the game with a lob pass to redshirt senior forward Tori Doss, who proceeded to score the game-winning goal for the Musketeers. Doss was recently named to the Big East honor roll for her clutch goal.
The remarkable win against Seton Hall allowed Xavier to secure a spot in the Big East Tournament, its first-ever in program history. This will be Xavier’s first appearance in a conference tournament since 2003 when the team competed in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
First-year head coach Nate Lie was enthusiastic about the opportunity that this win presented.
“We are excited to represent Xavier University in the Big East Tournament, especially with it being the first time,” Lie said. “We hope it’s the expectation going forward and that we can also begin competing for championships.”
Lie took over the role as head coach of the women’s soccer team this offseason after serving for four years as the associate head coach at the University of Cincinnati. Lie praised the school stating that, “I found an immediate connection with Xavier University— the campus, the community and the mission statement.”
The victory against Seton Hall was the team’s eighth win on the season. The Musketeers have performed particularly well at home with a record of 7-2-3 when playing at the XU Soccer Complex.
Lie attributes the team’s success on the pitch this year as a result of “energy, selflessness, bravery and a willingness to make extra effort plays.” He also said that the team’s success ultimately “depends on everybody in the program moving in the same direction and being on the same page.”
He believes the team truly “works for each other, plays for each other and sacrifices for each other. When you have a team with that type of character, success usually follows.”
The Musketeers will play their final regular season game against Georgetown this Thursday.
The Big East tournament is slated to begin on Sunday, with Xavier’s opponent still to be determined from the outcome of conference play.
By: Luke Feliciano ~Sports Editor~