NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – A pair of Southern Vermont College women's soccer members made an appearance in the 2017 New England Women's Intercollegiate Soccer Association (NEWISA) Senior Bowl last weekend with senior goalkeeper Melissa Mascari (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) playing for the Team Tsantiris squad led by SVC seventh-year head coach Michael Zauzig.
Mascari was then selected to the All-NEWISA Division III Second Team for her performance during the year.
Division I, II, and III schools from across the region were represented by some of New England's best players in the senior match held at Merrimack College.
Seniors were nominated by their respective coaches to be considered for selection, and those coaches then voted on the pool of nominees for the two teams to be established. After Mascari was chosen as Southern Vermont's first-ever player to get the Senior Bowl nod, Zauzig was asked to lead her side on game day.
"I'm absolutely thrilled that Melissa was selected for the Senior Bowl," Zauzig said. "It's a tremendous event, and the quality of players on the field was incredible. There's no denying that Melissa had a fantastic year, and I'm glad she was rewarded with this selection."
Mascari was joined in being chosen for the Bowl by three other members from the New England Collegiate Conference: Elms College's Brie Voight and Lesley University's Karlie Ruben and Samantha Turnbull.
"Additionally, it was quite the honor to be there with three of the best players from the NECC," Zauzig noted. "Brie and Karlie have been selected as the Conference's Player of the Year in the past, and Samantha Turnbull was—arguably—the best defender in the league."
Mascari and Zauzig posted a victory in SVC's first-ever Senior Bowl showing as a Voight goal and the Mountaineer keeper's solid netminding led their squad to a 5-1 win.
"I really appreciated the opportunity to coach in the match," Zauzig said. "It was an absolute pleasure to work with Melissa, the three additional NECC players, and the rest of the student-athletes on my team. I certainly hope that we can get more players selected in the future—as well as the opportunity to coach it again."
GAME RECAP: COURTESY OF TOM McGUINESS, NEWISA PRESIDENT
In one of the more exciting contests in recent memory, Team Tsantiris prevailed over Team DiCicco, 5-1, at Merrimack College in the 2017 NEWIS Senior Bowl. In a contest that was far closer than the score indicates, attacking soccer started early and occurred often in a highly-competitive match on an overcast Saturday afternoon. After being turned away early on several chances, Lauren Berman capitalized on a feed from Paige Pratt to stake Team Tsantiris to a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute. Three minutes later, Trisha Luis pounced on a rebound of another Berman chance to increase the lead to 2-0. Team DiCicco tried to answer, but a cross by UNH's Kendra Prince was pushed aside by SNHU's Paige Salmon. From there on out, the teams traded chances with Team Tsantiris and Husson's Leah Hibbad making several dangerous runs at goal and NEC's Jaycie Triandafilou missing from both ground and air on stops by Springfield's Ciara Boucher. UNH's Brooke Murphy then tried to create some chances late in the half—only to have them swallowed up by the backline led by BC's Allyson Swaby and Roger Williams University's Samanatha Woznicki—keeping the gold off the board through the first half.
An earlier corner for Team DiCicco led to a header by Sophie Gomarlo of WPI that just was wide of the far post, but in the subsequent minutes, Brooke Murphy would strip a blue defender of the ball and cut the lead to one in the 50th minute. That chance woke Team Tsantiris's offense to life though as Kayla Capuzzo (Northeastern) dribbled from the right side clear across the 18 yard box to the left and slotted the ball to New Haven's Kelly Quigley who buried the chance in the 52nd minute—returning her team to a two-goal lead. Team DiCicco tried to answer back as Murphy again launched a shot for the upper-left corner which was snatched out of the air by Southern Vermont's Melissa Mascari. At the other end, Endicott's Rachel Hanna sought to give Capuzzo her second helper of the game, but her shot was headed off the goal line by AIC's Kelly Kolosky. However, Hanna and Capuzzo would not be denied again as Hanna finished off a cross from Capuzzo in the 58th minute. Again Team DiCicco sought to pick up the pressure as Springfield's Kim Quiles made several dangerous runs—one of which lead to a shot off a Quiles cross from Keene State's Taylor Farland, only to be denied on a diving stop by Mascari. In the 62nd minute, Jaycie Triandafilou finally cashed in on goal with a finish off a feed from Brie Voight of Elms College to make the score 5-1—awakening her teammates who were there in attendance to support her.
Over the final 28 minutes, Team DiCicco pressed to cut into the lead on more runs from Quiles and Providence's Madison Doherty, including a Doherty chance in the 75th minute that was punched over the crossbar by Mascari, but Team Tsantiris' backline combination of Swaby, Woznicki, SNHU's Rianna Fasanello, New Haven's Danielle Matassa, Lesley's Samantha Trumbull and Pratt (along with a variety of guest defenders) was there to preserve the lead and give first-time coach Michael Zauzig of Southern Vermont College his first Senior Bowl victory.
– #LetsGoSVC –