By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
Under the helm of sixth year head coach Sam Lopes, the Providence College Women’s Soccer Team has enjoyed profound success, which is why they will document the best record this fall season.
The Friars finished last season with an 11-6-3 overall record and a 4-3-2 mark in Big East play. They started the year with a 3-0 record for the first time since the 2015 season and did not allow a single goal the opening 310 minutes of play.
The Friars have reached Big East postseason play every single season since Lopes has taken over the program. It is this consistency that will work in the team’s favor down the road. With plenty of players with postseason experience returning to the field, the Friars will be poised to make a deep playoff run.
The Friars bring back a lot of talent, including 88 percent of their scoring from last year. This includes Hannah McNulty ’21 who was tied for third in the Big East with 10 goals last season, and Amber Birchwell ’21, who scored six goals of her own.
Shelby Hogan’21RS returns in net for the Friars looking to follow up a record season where she tied the program record with ten shutouts and was the 12th in the country. She was awarded All-Big East First Team, Big East All-Tournament Team, and United Soccer Coaches All-East Region Third Team.
The Big East is never easy to win in any sport, but this is especially true for women’s soccer. With the likes of the Georgetown University Hoyas, who are projected to win the Big East once again, and the Butler University Bulldogs leading the charge, the Friars are projected for a third place finish according to the Big East coaches’ poll.
The Friars have already begun their regular season schedule with a 2-1 victory over rival University of Connecticut Huskies before falling to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Minuteman 1-0. The Friars are back in action on Thursday, Aug. 29 as they take on the University of Hartford.