By Jack Belanger ’21
No fall sports team has found consistent success this year like the Providence College Women’s Soccer Team. Though both the Men’s and Women’s soccer team and the field hockey team were picked to finish fourth in their respective Big East Preseason Coaches’ poll, with a 6-2-1 record, the women’s soccer team has a better record than all other teams and has exceeded expectations at this point in their season. The men’s team currently sits at 3-4-1, while volleyball is 6-5 and field hockey is 4-5.
So far this year, PC is undefeated at Chapey Field (5-0-0) and the team’s only two losses came against two top-15 nationally ranked teams, Duke University and the University of North Carolina (UNC), at the Duke Nike Classic. The team also tied 1-1 against the University of Arkansas, who is 5-2-2 and plays in the Southeastern Conference, one of the tougher conferences in Division I soccer.
Goalkeeper Shelby Hogan ’20RS has been named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll four times and was once named the Big East Goalkeeper of the Week. Teammate Hannah McNulty ’21 has been named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week twice this season. McNulty, so far, is second in the Big East in goals with six. Hogan leads the league in saves with 46.
The Friars defense, led by Katie Day ’19 and Hailee Duserick ’19, have given Hogan plenty of protection in front of the net. PC has allowed the third fewest goals in the Big East this season with six goals in nine games. The two seniors have started every game for the Friars this season and are tied with the most minutes on the field.
As the team begins conference play on Sept. 22 against Villanova, the Friars will enter the game with the second-best record in the Big East, behind only 10th-ranked Georgetown University, who has yet to lose a game. Last season, PC earned the third seed in the tournament, and they returned many of their key contributors this season, as they look to challenge Georgetown for the Big East crown.
While there is still plenty of the fall season left for PC’s sports teams, as each team begins conference play within the next couple weeks, the women’s soccer team has proven that they can compete with some of the best teams in the country (losing by 1 goal to Duke and UNC) which only bodes well for them when they take on the top teams in the Big East. While PC’s other teams still have a chance to move up in the standings, the women’s soccer team is already near the top and will be able to surpass their last season’s win total of 10.