BY STEVEN SOUSA //

After their trip to the Commonwealth Coast Conference semifinals, the Curry women’s soccer team is looking to reproduce more of that success.

The Colonels finished the year 11-9-2, good enough for fifth in the final conference standings. Curry was set to travel to the #4 seed University of New England to open their tournament. A 2-1 win set them up to host the eighth seeded Gordon College, fresh off their upset of #1 Roger Williams.

The Fighting Scots battled the Colonels to double overtime where it only took over a minute to find the back of the net and end the season for Curry.

Although the Colonels were able to go on the road and grab a win in the playoffs, head coach Jason Tassinari made his goals for the team very clear for this season.

“What we really want to do is host a tournament game in the first round,” Tassinari said. “That means we want to finish in the top four which we think we can.”

From there it is a simple plan for Tassinari’s fifth year at the helm; “Get ourselves into the conference finals.”

In order to achieve those goals, the team must improve on their conference record, which they have done in each of the past three seasons.

“For us, the talent level has been much better in the last several years so you’re starting to see the overall results get better because our non-league schedule has been a little bit tougher,” Tassinari noted.

That elevated competition level makes Coach Tassinari feel like “we’re a little more prepared to play some of these conference teams.”

He views this year’s squad as a top three or four team in the conference despite the thoughts of the other coaches in the conference.  According to the most recent preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Colonels are the fifth best team in the conference.

A large part of that ranking may be due to the graduation of standout goalkeeper Morgan Stott and leading scorer, forward Kaitlyn Lima.  Although Tassinari recognizes their production, he isn’t worrying too much about replacing them.

“If you start worrying about the players that you lose, then you’re disrespecting the players you have,” said Tassinari.

Coach Tassinari hasn’t named an official starter in net yet, but expects one of his three sophomores, Katelyn DeMaio, Haley Rice, and Kristen Buzzotta, to step up and take the reins.

Replacing goal scorers is always a challenge, and Tassinari expects a committee of forwards to step up and fill Lima’s shoes. Seniors Amanda Crisfulla, Korinna Tsonis and captain Cassandra Grasso accounted for just two points last year but will likely see an increase this season.

The second captain of this year’s team is defender Abby Ford.  This is Ford’s second season as a captain and Tassinari feels that these two captains can be the best captains the team has ever had in his five-year tenure at Curry.

“Both of them are passionate about the program, highly competitive individuals, they love to play and they care about winning, and that right there is tremendous from your two leaders,” Tassinari said.

With a pair of experienced leaders and a blend of new and veteran players, the 2017 Colonels will start off the year on the road this Friday, Sept. 1 against Rhode Island College at 7 p.m.

Their home opener will be Sunday, Sept. 3 at 1 p.m. when they take on Thomas College at the Walter M. Katz Field.

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