Women’s Soccer Suffers Loss, Eliminated from Playoff Contention

A 3-0 loss to Canisius on the afternoon of Oct. 25 ended the playoff hopes of the Manhattan women’s soccer team. The Jaspers fell to 7-8-2 on the season and 2-5-2 with eight points in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). Canisius improved to 5-5 and 15 points against MAAC opponents, clinching the sixth spot for the playoffs.

Manhattan was coming off of a 1-0 win over Quinnipiac on Oct. 22 when the Jaspers honored their four seniors in their last game at Gaelic Park. The lone goal of the game was early in the second half from Manhattan senior Aislinn McIlvenny. She leads the league with her fifth game-winning goal of the season.

After an even first half, the Jaspers came out strong with McIlvenny’s goal and then outshot the Bobcats 9-2. Junior goalkeeper Kristen Skonieczny recorded her fourth shutout of the season and had two saves in the game. The Jaspers’ offense was strong with six shots on goal and a 4-0 lead in corners.

Saturday afternoon was a different story, however. Canisius scored with 28 minutes left in the first half. Their second goal came just about five minutes later. They went on to score their third and final goal of the game in a total scoring span that lasted just under 10 minutes.

The second half of the game was mostly silent for both teams until Manhattan sophomore Lizzy Carlson notched a pair of shots on goal. McIlvenny had her second shot of the game with just about eight minutes left. Manhattan fell slightly behind the Golden Griffins in shots with a 7-5 deficit on goal and 13-11 total.

McIlvenny has had a standout season in her final year as a Jasper. She has been nominated for the Senior CLASS Award, one of 10 finalists in NCAA women’s soccer. These 10 finalists were chosen from a total of 30 student athletes. This award stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. It encourages student athletes to use their athletics to make a positive impact and help lead their communities. It recognizes student athletes’ success in four categories: classroom, character, competition and community.

McIlvenny has helped lead the Jaspers this season with her team-high nine goals. In 2013, she was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team and has been a member of the MAAC All-Academic team twice.

The Jaspers were in the midst of a downfall on the season. Before their win on senior night, they suffered a five game losing streak. Two of these matches needed overtime. They were able to come out of one game earning a tie against Siena on Oct. 11. Two more losses would come for Manhattan, despite their strong efforts, before their seventh win of the season against Quinnipiac. The team looks to finish the season on a positive note on Oct. 29 in their final game versus Saint Peter’s.

Women’s Soccer Ties Against Siena

After a tough overtime loss to the Monmouth Hawks on Wednesday Oct. 8, the Manhattan women’s soccer team (1-2-2 MAAC, 6-5-2) was able to fight back and earn a tie against Siena (2-1-3 MAAC, 5-5-5) on Saturday afternoon.

The Jaspers played in their second straight overtime game and fourth in the last six games.

Manhattan’s game against the Hawks ended in heartbreak as Monmouth’s Erica Murphy scored the game-winner with 24 seconds left in the first overtime period. The defending MAAC champions had their third-straight victory with a 2-1 win over Manhattan. Senior Aislinn McIlvenny assisted on Manhattan’s goal as she gave the ball to junior Sam Washuk, who was wide open and got it in the net. Manhattan went into halftime with the 1-0 lead, even though they were outshot 18-3. The Hawks got their goal about 15 minutes into the second half.

Junior Kristen Skonieczny finished the game with an outstanding performance. The goalkeeper had a season-high 12 saves in the game. McIlvenny had her second assist on the season and has been involved in 10 of the team’s 13 goals this season. Washuk scored her third goal of the season.

The Jaspers’ game against Siena had a different storyline. About two minutes into the game, the Saints found the net and took a 1-0 lead. Siena continued strong offensively with 10 shots in the first half, compared to Manhattan’s three. Manhattan took over in the second half with nine shots and a goal to tie the game by junior Emily Ude with about nine minutes left in regulation. Ude earned her first goal of the season. McIlvenny assisted and tallied her third of the season, a team high. Manhattan had two major chances to take the lead by freshman Emily Center and sophomore Lauren Barton. However, both were stopped by Siena goaltender Taylor Booth, who finished the game with six saves. Skonieczny had three saves before getting injured in the second half. Freshman Becca Vitale came in relief of Skonieczny and had two saves.

Siena led the overtime periods with six shots over Manhattan’s two, despite both teams having good chances to score. They also finished with a 20-15 advantage in shots over the Jaspers. In the end, neither team found the net again and it finished in a 1-1 draw. Siena has a 2-1-3 record in the MAAC and Manhattan is now 1-2-2. The Jaspers return home in a 7pm matchup with the Fairfield Stags on October 15. Fairfield is 4-0 in the MAAC.

NFL Domestic Violence Scandal: What is the Next Step?

“We’ve seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong. That starts with me,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press conference.

It seems like whenever the National Football League is in the news these days, it is something negative. Stories of arrests and domestic violence cases are taking away from the game of football. Being a huge football fan myself, it’s disappointing to what has been happening within the league. Something needs to be done about it, and it starts with Commissioner Goodell.

“I watch these guys play every week,” junior Rachel Harrison said. “It’s scary. I cannot believe that some of them can do this.”

Commissioner Goodell came under scrutiny during the Ray Rice incident. It remains unclear when exactly the league and Goodell had received the video of the domestic violence incident between Rice and his wife. Despite these reports coming out, Commissioner Goodell and the NFL gave Rice a two-game suspension, compared to players who have been punished for less severe offenses not involving violence.

“It shows a hypocrisy in the punitive process of the NFL’s personal conduct policy,” senior Alexander Szivos said.

“Players get four-game suspensions for drug use but there are no guidelines on how to deal with domestic violence. It shows that they care more about what the players put into their bodies than what they do off the field, because the league make money off their bodies,” Szivos continued.

However, once the video came out to the public, the league decided to make a more significant move and Rice was suspended indefinitely. When unconfirmed reports came out that the league received the video right after it happened, most of the public accused Goodell of withholding this information.

“He should be fired for sure,” Harrison said. “The only reason he did anything about it now is because the video got out. That’s just unacceptable. These players aren’t anything special, they’re still human beings and should be held accountable for their actions.”

Domestic violence continues to be a major issue in our society. This goes beyond the NFL. However, they should use their high profile to bring attention to it. Goodell announced upcoming changes to the disciplinary process for players. In addition, he revealed new partnerships between the league and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, as well as the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The hotline has since received an 84% increase in calls in just one week.

It is great that the league has been taking steps to make these changes. But they need to be making changes that are seen by the general public. For one, not many know about these new partnerships the league has. The league never did anything to make people aware. If they, for example, organized something during one of the games, the public would appreciate it more.

Right now, they are seeing players still being accepted by the league. They need to see the league stepping up and bringing attention to this societal problem. They need to see more than just suspending the player and trying to forget about it.

“I think that it is unfair,” junior Kassandra Pujols said. “I understand that he’s a public figure, but that was a personal matter between him and his wife. If she went on with the marriage, then that should not fully reflect on him as a player and his contribution to the team.”

“If they’re not cut from the team,” junior Giaunna Gwinn said, “it might seem like that is okay to do. If they’re not punished by the law, they should be punished somehow.”

In the end, the NFL domestic violence issue has to be resolved, and soon. The league needs to create stronger conduct policies in their player disciplinary process. These recent cases of domestic violence against their players should not be taken lightly, like they have been.

However, this goes much farther than within the NFL. Domestic violence needs to be addressed at the societal level. It is more than just an issue involving football players. Once domestic violence is addressed as a problem of society, changes will happen everywhere.

“The NFL is totally being viewed in a poorer light right now,” Gwinn said. “You said Ray Rice and I wasn’t sure if you were talking about the player who hit his wife or the one who hit his kid. That alone should say something.”

If Commissioner Goodell and the league make significant improvements soon, hopefully in the coming weeks, then they may be able to gain some respect back from the public.

Jaspers Fall Short Against Gaels

Coming off of their first MAAC win of the season against Marist, the Manhattan women’s soccer team saw the other side quickly.

Competing against the Iona Gaels gave the Jaspers their first MAAC loss of the season. They fell 1-0 to the Gaels at Mazzella Field. Iona is 5-6-2 so far and 1-1-1 in the MAAC. Manhattan now stands at 6-4-1 and 1-1-1 against MAAC opponents.

The first half remained pretty even until Iona scored just before the game went into halftime. They earned a corner kick in the last minute. Junior Kristen Skonieczny saved the first shot, however, Iona’s Erika Flowers got one past her in the last second before the halftime whistle.

Manhattan started off strong in the second half with some good chances early on. Then, their defense stepped up and came up big later in the half. Iona’s Marisa Bentley shot about 25 minutes into the half but it was cleared off the goal line. Shortly after, junior Colleen Kavanagh had a couple strong shots but Iona goalkeeper Morgan McBrier was able to come up with the saves. Kavanagh struck once again in the last minutes of the game. However, McBrier had the save again.

Skonieczny had seven saves for the Jaspers and they tallied five shots on goal against McBrier. The Gaels, however, led Manhattan in shots total, 22-9. They outshot the Jaspers 8-6 in the second half but the Jasper defense was able to keep it a one-goal game.

Manhattan returns to action on October 8th when they host the defending MAAC champions Monmouth Hawks. The Hawks are 8-4 on the season and 3-1 in the MAAC. They are going into the game with a two-game winning streak against Saint Peter’s and Niagara.