Lady Cougars Headed to NJCAA National Tournament
Women’s Soccer Wins District Championship
(Holyoke, MA) - The Lady Cougars won the District G Championship on Friday afternoon, defeating Nassau CC 1-0 and punching their ticket to the 2018 NJCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship. Holyoke put forth a gritty performance in a hard-fought game against a physical Nassau team who put pressure on the Cougars throughout the matchup. For the Lady Cougars soccer program, the shutout win is extra sweet as Nassau eliminated HCC last season on penalty kicks and with an overtime golden goal in 2016.
Center midfielder Steph Robert (Monson, MA / Monson HS) scored the contest's only goal in the 19th minute with a bomb of a shot from 35 yards out that found the top left corner of the goal. Robert also shared the shutout, playing the second half of the game in goal, making four saves. Emily Toro-Mattoon (East Longmeadow, MA / East Longmeadow HS) was the starting goalkeeper, making five saves in her half of the shutout. Toro-Mattoon's five stops included a spectacular diving save to her right that kept Nassau off the scoreboard. Center back Jessica Patruno (Granby, MA / Granby HS), who has played exceptionally all season, played another outstanding game alongside outside back Kari Little (Amherst, MA / Amherst HS) who was also tremendous in the victory. Midfielder Miranda Grochowski (Westfield, MA / Westfield HS) tallied the assist on the Cougars' goal and midfielder Madison Zollo (Monson, MA / Monson HS) played superbly for Holyoke.
The Lady Cougars, who are 13-6-1 overall and 13-4-1 in NJCAA Division III, will travel to Rockford, Illinois from November 7-11 to participate in the 2018 NJCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship. The national event is comprised of the final eight (Elite 8) Division III women's soccer teams with a National Champion crowned on Sunday November 11. This year, HCC women's soccer makes its seventh appearance in the Elite 8 with their most recent being in 2013 when the Lady Cougars finished third in the nation. Let's go Cougars!
Click here to see 2018 NJCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship page
Click here for women's soccer page on HCC athletics webpage
Photos: (Main & Thumbnail) The 2018 District G Champion Lady Cougars.