Article by Peyton Doyle
Photo by Mike Puzzanghera
During the shortened 2021 spring season, the Northeastern women’s soccer team went 2-3-1 in non-conference play. Northeastern, like many other schools, faced challenges when it came to their schedule and the COVID-19 pandemic. The Huskies lost three of their non-conference games last season due to various health and safety concerns. This season however, is slated to be back in full swing, filled with big names and cross town rivalries.
To start off their regular season, Northeastern will be facing Boston University at home for the first time since 2018, when the Huskies took down the Terriers 3-2 in double OT. BU has won just nine games over the past two seasons and will be starting a goalkeeper with no collegiate experience come kickoff on Aug. 19. Aug. 26 to Sep. 5 will be rematch time for the Huskies as they take on URI, UConn, and UMass Lowell, three of their opponents from the spring season. Of that group, UConn was the only squad to take down Northeastern last season, and will be returning both of their top scorers from the spring.
The hardest stretch of non-conference games for Northeastern will come over their last three non-conference games, where they will face UMass Amherst, Harvard, and Brown. The Huskies had both of their games against the Minutemen canceled in the spring and the Ivy League canceled their season in 2020-21, so Northeastern hasn’t seen any of these squads since 2019. UMass is returning senior Lauren Bonavita who scored 12 goals in 2019 as well as their sophomore goalkeeper Bella Mendoza who allowed just 0.18 goals per game in her first collegiate season. Harvard and Brown represent two of the most powerful teams in their league, going 12-3-1 and 14-2-3 respectively in 2019. Harvard has the reigning offensive player of the year in Murphy Agnew as well as Angela Caloia who made all Ivy League second team as a freshman in 2019 and led her team in points. Brown will be a challenge on both ends of the field. The Bears made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2019 and will be returning both their top goal scorer, reigning rookie of the year winner Brittany Raphino, and their best keeper, Kayla Thompson, who was a 2019 All-Ivy League first team member.
After playing just half of their conference in the spring season, the Huskies will be back to playing their full slate of conference opponents this fall. Northeastern will open their CAA play at the University of Delaware on Sep. 26, against a Blue Hens team that went 7-2 in conference play during their last full season but just 1-3 last year. Oct. 3 will be a rematch of last season’s CAA semifinal game at home against UNCW, where the Huskies can get revenge on the Seahawks team that ended their season. Their next match will be against the Towson Tigers who have gone just 2-11 in the CAA over the last two seasons. Their home game against JMU on Oct. 10 will be the first CAA team that Northeastern has not played since 2019, and who defeated them 4-3 in their last match. The following two matches against Hofstra and Elon may be the two most challenging and most important for a Northeastern team that looks to compete for the CAA title. Elon is the reigning CAA champion after taking down the top seeded Hofstra and UNCW in the spring tournament and Hostra was league champion the three previous seasons.
The Huskies will finish off their season with three matches in seven days, at Charleston Oct. 24, home against Drexel Oct. 28 and at William and Mary to finish off their season on Oct. 31.