Soccer women look to next season


Mary-Lynn Retassie

Senior defender Rachel Fleming (11) posses the ball against Edinboro last Wednesday at Richland High School’s field. Pitt-Johnstown lost, 0-1.

Justin Schmithorst, Sports Editor

Last Friday, the Pitt-Johnstown women’s soccer players saw their 2018 campaign come to an end in a 2-4 loss to Kutztown University, as they didn’t qualify for the playoffs. 

Senior goalkeeper Leigh Appolonia said despite not qualifying for the playoffs or having a winning season, the players should not be disappointed.

It was nice to finally get some wins, and I expect the team to win more games as the years go on. I also think it helped our confidence in knowing that we can compete with anyone in our conference,” Appolonia said.

With Appolonia being a senior, this was her last game. 

“I just learned to cherish my time as an athlete because these four years fly by. You think you have forever to be an athlete, but, before you know it, your athletic career is over,” Appolonia said. 

Appolonia’s final season wasn’t without a huge win. On Sept. 12, the Mountain Cats won a 1-0 game against Gannon University. 

“My entire team fought hard in that game, and I got the first shutout of my career,” Appolonia said. 

According to Appolonia, the hardest loss that she had was the last home game of her college career. 

“It was honestly a heartbreaking loss. We were the better team, but we didn’t show it or capitalize on our chances,” Appolonia said. 

The sentiment of the team’s best win being against Gannon was shared by another teammate, sophomore Abby LaDuke. 

“We scored in the first half, and then remained compact defensively for the rest of the game, which earned us the victory. I couldn’t have been more happy for Appolonia that day,” LaDuke said. 

However, unlike Appolonia, LaDuke said that she doesn’t see any one loss as more painful than any of the others. 

“We lost eight games by one goal, and those were really tough. We need to find a way to come out on top in these close games next season,” LaDuke said. 

The idea of being able to compete with anyone in the conference is something that junior defender Danielle Lippl said motived the team this year. 

According to Lippl, this, in conjunction with the team’s new formation for this year, are what resulted in them winning more games this season than in the past three years combined. 

“I’m very proud of our team’s improvement this season, but we’re not satisfied yet. We’re looking to go even further next season,” Lippl said.