Season of records for women's soccer

October 25, 2012

HCC Women's Soccer team on O'Connell Field.Sophomore Jennifer Perry takes a corner kick against Bristol Community College in the Lady Cougars' final game of the 2012 season.

For the HCC women's soccer team, 2012 has been a season of records.

Consider these:

Most wins in a season: 16.

Fewest losses in a season: 2

Most goals in a game (team): 16 (Sept. 12, against Manchester Community College).

Most goals in a game (individual): 5, tied (Freshman Taishla Lopez)

Most career victories (goalkeeper): 25 (Sophomore Malynda Riopelle).

Most career shutouts (goalkeeper): 18 (Sophomore Malynda Riopelle).

And the list goes on.

To be honest, the team's overwhelming success came as a bit of a surprise to coach Rob Galazka.

"I knew we'd be good," Galazka said Wednesday, before the team's last game of the regular season, a casual, 14-0 romp of Bristol Community College. "I didn't know we'd be this good. It's a good group, better than we all expected."

The Lady Cougars finished the regular season with a record of 16 wins, two losses and one tie, ranked eighth in Division III of the National Junior College Athletic Association. The team will play this weekend at home on O'Connell Field in the NJCAA regional championship, with a chance to make a run at a national title.

Game time for HCC, the number two seed, is Saturday, Oct. 27, at 1:30 p.m., against Massassoit Community College, a team the Lady Cougars shut out twice, 7-0 and 2-0.

To win the regional championship, however, the team must get past Bunker Hill Community College, the number one seed and the team responsible for the Cougars' only two losses of the season.

The first was a 0-2 defeat away, but the game was closer than the score indicates, said Galazka. "We hit the post twice and missed a penalty kick," he said.

The Cougars lost the second game 0-1 in double overtime.

"We're confident," said Galazka. "We played Bunker Hill strongly twice. They're a good team, but, at the same time, we believe we can beat them."

A win by both teams Saturday will set up a rematch Sunday in the regional finals at 1 p.m. Bunker Hill is playing in the first semi-final game Saturday at 11 a.m. against Springfield Technical Community College.

The Cougars are hoping for a Bunker Hill victory in the morning game.

"I want to beat them so bad," said co-captain Laura Masciotra, a sophomore from Agawam. "Ask any of the girls - we're fired up to play them again."

Galazka attributes his surprise at the team's success to the uncertainty that comes at the start of every year as a coach, especially one at a community college, where about half the team's players turn over every season.

 "It's almost a rebuilding year every year," said Galazka. "It's different from even high school or a four-year college program. At two year schools, you can only have them for two years." 

This year the team had nine returning sophomores, including standout goalkeeper Malynda Riopelle and co-captains Laura Masciotra, from Agawam, and Regan Teixeira, from Northampton. But the addition of freshman standouts like Kara Peters, from Agawam, have really added to the team's depth.

Galazka, who is in his ninth season as coach, set a record himself in the penultimate game of the season, notching his 100th career win as coach.

"I think that shows the program has been consistent for quite a few years," said Galazka. "It shows the strength of the program."

Photos: (Left) The 2012 HCC Women's Soccer team. (Right) Sophomore Jennifer Perry takes a corner kick against Bristol Community College in the Lady Cougars' final game of the 2012 season.


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040