The University’s women’s and men’s soccer teams won in their first round of playoff competition on Tuesday and Wednesday night respectively.
The women’s team positioned itself in a prime position for the playoffs, earning the top seed in the Landmark Conference, after ending the regular season 7-0 in conference play.
The Royals hosted fourth-seeded Susquehanna University Tuesday night and won the 1-0 in a thrilling overtime victory.
The Royals went into the game boasting a 15-1-1 record, boosting their confidence levels and helping the team focus on its goal for the postseason.
Junior Hannah DeMars noted how the hard work the Royals put into the regular season would benefit them come time for playoffs.
“Just knowing that we were two games away from a potential Landmark Conference championship was enough to keep our momentum going. Having a 15-1-1 record has really helped keep our confidence high and will continue to help us in the postseason. We are confident that we can step on the field and beat any team we are up against. It is extremely hard to beat a team who is very confident in their ability to win,” DeMars said.
The Royals are particularly out for revenge this season after having lost in the Landmark Conference Championship game for the past three seasons in a row.
Senior Krissy Welsh reflected on what the Royals want to focus on to prevent the same outcome this season.
“I think an underlying concern about the postseason that’s in the back of everyone’s head is losing and missing out on the championship title for the fourth year in a row. But I have seen this team play until the very last whistle and win games that have seemed almost impossible, so I do not doubt that we will give absolutely everything in our heart to fight for what we have worked incredibly hard for over the past year,” Welsh said.
Sophomore Erica Licari explained how the Royals’ goals for this season extend further than just a Landmark Conference championship title, however.
“Our goal for the post season is to win the Landmark Conference championship and then get far in the NCAA tournament, so we can play against some of the top teams in the country and show that we are just as strong as them,” Licari said.
The Royals are back in action 1 p.m. Saturday against Moravian College for the Landmark Conference Title.
The men’s team beat Drew University 2-1 Wednesday night.
The men’s team had an equally exciting regular season, ending with an impressive 12-3-1 record.
The Royals earned the second seed for postseason play and hosted third-seeded Drew University Wednesday night.
Junior Connor Casey noted how important the playoffs are to the team this year.
“There was no better feeling than lifting the plaque last year that read ‘Landmark Conference Champions’ and we are eager to defend our title,” Casey said. “My goal for the postseason is to do whatever it takes to get a win, whether that is scoring, setting up another teammate or making a goal-line save.”
Junior Henry Bonilla reflected on how similar this year’s postseason has been to last year and how that will affect the way the team plays.
“We were in the same position last year, finishing second in the rankings and being able to host the first round of playoffs. I think our coach said it best when he said we need to have the mentality of attacking the conference championship rather than trying to defend our previous title,” Bonilla said.
The Royals recognize, however, that the road to another title will not be easy.
Senior Eric Hintz reflected on the seriousness of the competition the team will face and what the team needs to focus on in order to be successful.
“Three out of the four teams in our playoffs are regionally ranked, and we know each team we play will be very competitive. We know how we have to play in order to do well in the playoffs, and we have a lot of veteran experience to help the team push through the postseason,” Hintz said.
The Royals face Elizabethtown College 7 p.m. Saturday in the Landmark Conference championship.