Photo by Stephanie Swart
By Parris Clarke, Assistant Sport Editor-
The Chattanooga Mocs women’s soccer team lost a heart breaker against Furman on Sunday in the semifinals of the Southern Conference tournament. With things knotted at 0-0, Furman scored the go-ahead goal in the 87th minute of the game.
Statistically, the entire match was even throughout and was played with a tough, defensive edge. Furman had 11 shots in the game, four of them being on goal. UTC complied 10 shots, three of which were on goal. In competitive sports, sometimes when two teams are so evenly matched it almost feels unfair to pick a winner. But ultimately, as Furman scored what was the only goal of the match, they were crowned victorious.
Originally, the match was scheduled to be played Saturday at 1 pm, but due to heavy rain saturating the field the game was postponed to the following day.
This loss ends the Lady Mocs’ season. After a devastating end to a season, it can initially be hard to look back at the positives during the year. However, none of the players should hang their heads low, as this was arguably the most successful soccer season in UTC’s history.
UTC’s third-place regular-season finish is the best in school history and it’s only the second time they have ever reached the semifinals of the SoCon tournament — their first appearance since 2003. Even with a shortened season due to the pandemic, those accolades are nothing to scoff at.
These milestones also came with a litany of awards. Head coach Gavin McKinney was named SoCon Coach of the Year, while defensive back Maggie Shaw earned SoCon Defensive Player of the Year honors. Chloe Arnold and Lauren Dluzewski were also named to the All-Conference Second Team.
The Lady Mocs have youth in place to build on this success future as well. Forwards Kendra Mueller and Ao Yamada were named to the All-Freshmen team.
Any season that even sees completion during the pandemic should be considered a success. The semifinals match may have not gone the way the Lady Mocs had hoped, but they should be proud of all they accomplished in the face of adversity.