The Northern Kentucky University Women’s Soccer team run in the NCAA Division II Tournament came to an end with a 1-0 loss at Wisconsin-Parkside Nov. 16.
With the loss also came the end of seniors Angela Healy and Lauren Franzen’s college careers.
“It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, I couldn’t believe my soccer career was over just like that,” Franzen said, in a Facebook chat. “The last four years it was my entire life.”
Franzen was thankful for her career as a Norse athlete.
“It had always been my goal to play in college and to be able to play for such a great school so close to home really meant a lot to me,” she said.
NKU Head Coach Bob Sheehan approached the end of the season positively.
“You know, our goal was to play as hard as we could and we played very, very hard but unfortunately we came up short,” he said. “The season is a journey and while we all want to win a national championship it just doesn’t happen everyday.”
He added that when he talked to his team after the game, he tried to focus on the teams season-long success and not the loss.
“To be honest, we never really talked about the loss specifically,” he said “We had a really great season, and that’s what I try to talk about once the season ends.”
The Norse (16-3 overall, 9-2 in GLVC) had more shots on goal than the Rangers but were unable to score in the contest.
Amanda Mason led NKU with three shots on goal and four other Norse contributed one each.
The Rangers had shots on goal, with two coming from Meredith Novak, who netted the game-winning goal in the 27th minute.
Novak dominated NKU – scoring a goal in each of the three Norse/Rangers meetings all year – and Wisconsin-Parkside (16-0-2 overall, 9-0-2 in GLVC) is now 3-0 against NKU in 2008.
The Rangers have been a roadblock for NKU in tournament play throughout November as they also defeated Norse for the GLVC Championship 2-1 Nov. 8.
Franzen said she hopes the loss will serve as motivation for the Norse to advance further next year.
“It should motivate them to come back next year and try to get even farther in the tournament,” she said.
However, the Norse will of course have to do so without two of their best players Franzen and Healy, who are both widely regarded as the teams best players.
Franzen, a forward for the Norse, led the team with eight goals this year and Healy, the team’s goalkeeper, recorded 52 saves, playing all but 84 minutes this season, for the Norse.
Healy’s backup, freshman Stephanie Glass, allowed one goal in the limited time she played this year and is expected to be the starter for the Norse at goalkeeper next year.
However, according Sheehan, Glass will have to compete for the starting goalkeeper job next season.
“We ask all our players to compete for their position,” he said. “My only expectations is to bring in X amount of players and at the beginning of the season have them all compete.”
The Norse will have a young squad again next year, with only three returning upper-class players, but after all it was the younger players made an impact this season for the Norse, as two freshmen – Sullivan and Amanda Mason – and two sophomores – Kendall Day and Kara Costello -rounded out the top five in scoring for the Norse behind Franzen.