Midfielder Brianna Rickert is one of the five seniors set to play in their last game at Gaelic Park on Saturday April 19th. Photo courtesy of GoJaspers.com
After a 13-8 loss to the first-place Marist Red Foxes on Wednesday, the Jaspers are looking toward their last home game of the season for their first conference win. Manhattan is currently 2-12 on the season and 0-6 versus MAAC opponents. Giving the team even more momentum to come out with a win against Niagara on Saturday is that it is Senior Night.
The Jaspers will lose five players after the season ends. Maria Toscano, Clare Kerrisk, Brianna Rickert and co-captains Kelsey Rehain and Carly Eskenazi will be honored for their achievements at Manhattan before the start of Saturday’s game.
“It’s been great having our teammates all four years,” Rehain said. “It’s been a tough four years. We’ve had about nine to 11 coaches come in and out. Through the periods we don’t have coaches, that’s when the leaders have to step up and guide the team.”
Head coach Elizabeth Weber is almost through her first season at Manhattan. Along with a new head coach comes a new coaching system and that is not something to get used to overnight. This season has been one of learning and reconstruction.
“Though our record didn’t show how hard we tried all season and the improvements we’ve made on and off the field, we’ve come a long way, sophomore Casey Silvestri said. “We worked hard but we didn’t get the exact results that we wanted.”
“This year has been a rebuilding year,” said sophomore Megan Yarusso. “I think that next year we will be able to prove to everyone through our record that we are improving and we are ready to win.”
Despite their MAAC record, the team has had strong progress. This season, they have played teams and have a good chance against them when last year they would lose games by 10 goals or more. They’ve had close games brought into overtime, sometimes even double overtime, and have goal deficits of 5 or less.
“We do have our ups and downs but we learn from each mistake and we try not to take a step backwards,” Yarusso said.
Manhattan has some team goals for the rest of the season and one of them is getting a win in the MAAC. They have one more chance to obtain that goal at home. With it being Senior Night, it gives them extra momentum but it doesn’t change their attitude toward the game. In addition, they want to learn from each game and use it for the future.
“No matter what game it is, we all go out and play for each other. Senior Night just has a title on it and we will play even harder,” Yarusso said. “Playing with the seniors will be emotional. We look up to them and they have all made an impact on this team.”
“You’re never going to have an experience like Gaelic,” Rehain said. “There’s nothing like it. We have a little community here and it’s going to be hard to leave.”