|Sophomore Tyler Lendon has helped pave the way to a tremendous season, showing the ladies what it takes to return to national competition.|
|Midfielder Nikki Callini has been fearless this season crashing the net and unafraid of contact. Her efforts have paid off as she is the team's leading scorer this season with 21 goals and 10 assists thus far.|
Heartbreaker eliminiation from championship contention
(Dryden, NY) The final score of 3-0 doesn't tell the full story for the national semifinal matchup between the Holyoke Community College Cougars and Mohawk Valley Community College Hawks. Last year's championship run was cut short for the Cougars as well as Mohawk Valley knocked the them out in Elite Eight competition with a score of 3-2. In that game, the Cougars were ahead 2-1 with seven minutes remaining when the unthinkable happened: Mohawk scored two quick goals shocking the Cougars. With last years elimination still in mind, the four returners of Tai Lopez, Tyler Lendon, Bri Line, and Kristy Cominoli helped push the Cougars to the Final Four where they looked to avenge last years knock out punch by Mohawk.
The Cougars can always expect solid play at all positions on the field. Their defense has remained strong helping goalkeeper Amanda Olson to notch 10th shutouts on the season. The midfield has distributed the ball well and scored a majority of the Cougar's goals this season. Combine this with the upfront striking speed and physical play if the ladies, and you have a tremendous team that has earned themselves a spot in the national semifinal game.
Yesterday's game was no different than the rest of the season as they dominated possession in the midfield and saw solid play from Nikki Callini, Devon Wolfenden, and Tyler Lendon. The Cougars pressured the Mohawk keeper but were unable to finish in the first half. Olson (5 saves) and defensive anchor Tina Mullin held strong warding off a potent Mohawk attack who was able to capitalize only once, leaving the Cougars 1-0 at the half.
For a team with bitter feelings from last years loss and the capacity to score averaging more than four goals per game, the Cougars were on the prowl for revenge in the second half.
The second half was again more of the same, controlling of possession and remaining solid defensively. The Cougar's struggled offensively though, unable to finish on any scoring attempt they created. As time ticked away, Mohawk was able to push two more goals past the Holyoke defense to set the final score 3-0.
A heartbreaking end to a championship run and phenomenal season, the Cougars have a lot to be proud of collecting numerous team and individual accolades along the way. They will now battle for 3rd place on Sunday November 10th, facing Howard Community College of Maryland at 12:30 PM. You can view the game on NJCAA TV here.