Article by Peyton Doyle
Photo by Mike Puzzanghera
Head Coach: Ashley Phillips
Spring 2021 Record: (5-5-1, 3-1-0 CAA)
- F, Chelsea Domond (4 G, 1 A) Transferred to Syracuse
- Mid, Alexis Legowski (3 G, 1 A) JR
- F, Gabrielle Scarlett (2 G, 1 A) SO
- F/Mid, Mikenna McManus (4 A) Grad
- F/Mid, Rose Kaefer (1 G, 1A) SO
- Mid, Sydney Fisher (Grad Transfer, Holy Cross)
- Def, Faith Rosenblatt (SO Transfer, University Wisconsin-Madison)
- F, Avery Levangie (Freshman)
- F/Mid, Natalie Olsen (Freshman)
- F/CB, Katherine Marchesseault (Freshman)
- Mid, Kaydee Yallo (Freshman)
- Def, Megan Putvinski (Freshman)
- F, Chelsea Domond
- F, Katarina Nilsson
The Northeastern women’s soccer team is coming off another successful season under Head Coach Ashley Phillips. Following a rather tepid start where they won just one out of their first four games, the Huskies started to rally through the season, seeking improvement with each game. Because of their hard work and efforts, the team found themselves up 2-0 entering the second half of the CAA semifinal game against the top seeded UNCW Seahawks. In the end for NU, they could not hold on to their lead and fell 3-2 in that game, but the loss in that game was not indicative of how that season went.
The Huskies ended the season undefeated at home, with an overall record of 5-5-1, and 3-1-0 in the CAA conference, with three of their total losses coming in the first four games of the season. Since Phillips started coaching, she has led the team to three CAA championship games, and is looking for a fourth this year.
Luckily for fans, the Huskies are returning nearly the entirety of the team. The two departees from last season’s squad are forwards Katarina Nilsson and Chelsea Domond, the lone players to graduate from the team last spring. Nilsson became an integral part of the NU attack as the season progressed last season but it is with Domond that the Huskies will feel the absence. Domond, the team’s leading point scorer for the past two seasons, elected to use her extra year of eligibility to transfer and play for Syracuse University rather than play as a grad student at NU.
The strength of the Huskies last season was their defense which surrendered just 11 goals over the course of their 11 regular and postseason games. The pack will be returning all of the members of their stout back line, again featuring the pairing of three time All CAA first team member Julianne Ross and 2020 All CAA rookie team member, Allie Vazquez who are brick walls in the center. Wingbacks Mikenna McManus and Halle McCabe served both as hardy defenders and skilled passers for Northeastern last season and look to improve on each of their best seasons to date. Goalkeeper Angie Friel is entering her third year at Northeastern and is coming off of a season in which she led the CAA with five shutouts. With another year under the belts of each of their rock solid defenders, the Huskies’ strength should be even stronger this season.
The attack last season featured a heavy helping of balls up the wings to Domond and rising sophomore Gaby Scarlett, as well as plenty of set pieces to generate goals. This season they will have to rely heavily on junior midfielder Alexis Legowski and sophomore midfielder/forward Rose Kaefer to push the ball up the middle and create their looks from the interior rather than the burners on the wings that they’re used to. Scarlett is still on the roster and ready to provide plenty of pace, however, the Huskies still need to focus on their passing game which helped them score six goals in their last four games, rather than relying on pure pace.
The team struggled to find a scoring groove early in the season, possibly due to their limited practice time together and stagnated lifting sessions because of COVID-19 restrictions. The team was also out of sorts because of Northeastern’s unique co-op program and the fact that their season last year was switched from the fall to the spring. Traditionally the Northeastern players will schedule their co-op’s to be in the soccer offseason, meaning the spring so that it doesn’t interfere with their practice or game schedules. Because the season was moved to last spring, many of the upperclassmen could not attend practices or games until the evening, furthing removing it from the feel of a traditional fall season.
Phillips spoke to the Huntington News last Winter in regards to how the players’ co-op’s are impacting the squad.
“We’ve been out at [Parsons Field], almost every night. And we have to go in the evenings because we have nine players on co-op right now. So it’s been a little chilly,” Phillips said. “They’re kind of more inclined to want to go, go, go, they don’t really want water breaks. They’re not joking around as much as they normally are. It’s taken out some of that social aspect because they’re like, ‘we want to get out of here within the hour.”
Following the strange and trying, shortened spring regular season of just 10 regular season games, the Huskies are slated to play 17 regular season matches this fall with nine being held at home where they went undefeated in the spring. Another sign of a return to normalcy, Northeastern is scheduled to play their nine conference opponents this season after only playing the four teams in the CAA North last year due to COVID-19 restrictions. With their wealth of returning talent, the Huskies are set to again compete for a CAA title amid a strong field of opponents.