On their final game of the season, the Jaspers honored their seniors in a great fashion by earning a 9-8 victory over Marist. Despite their 1-7 record in conference play, it was an important moment for them to hand Marist a loss before the Red Foxes go into the MAAC tournament.
“We struggled a lot this season,” Donna Jo DiNorcia said. “So to pull it all together defensively and offensively was a big thing, especially for the seniors. We proved to the coaches that we really could play with a good team.”
The Jaspers honored seniors Domenica O’Brey, Carly Cappello, DiNorcia, Kaleigh Howe and co-captains Christina Fiorinelli and Caitlin Hynes before their game Wednesday April 22. In net, Fiorinelli had a team-best 60 ground balls and DiNorcia had an impressive game after returning from an injury. She helped lead the Jaspers’ scoring with a hat trick.
“Coming off of an injury, I didn’t even expect to be on the field that long,” DiNorcia said. “Putting in the first goal was enough for me. It was just a great way to go out.”
Even though the team did not have a winning record this season, they have improved greatly over the last few years and they look toward the future to get even better. Junior co-captain Megan Yarusso said that winning on senior day was the team’s best achievement this season.
Still, They have strong numbers to be proud of this season. Yarusso led the team in goals and points with 34 and 45 respectively. Junior co-captain Kaitlyn Cunningham had a team-high 12 assists and seven players finished in double digits in scoring.
“Ending on a high note showed us and the coaches that we are good,” Yarusso said. “It showed that we could hang with or even beat good teams. Finally coming together as a whole was the cherry on top this season.”
Both DiNorcia and Yarusso said that the last few years on the team have been a growing experience and a learning process. After some coaching changes over the past few years, they have found who can help the team reach their goals. Head coach Elizabeth Weber and assistant coach Amanda Trendell have been improving the program in great ways.
“In previous years, we were getting blown out by mediocre teams,” Yarusso said. “This year, we were losing to really good teams by one or two goals.”
A new style of defense has been the key to the Jaspers’ change. Coach Trendell was an impressive player at Rutgers, winning the Midfielder of the Year Award in 2013 as well as being a member of the team when they ranked sixth nationally in defense.
“Our coaches now are really going to take the program in the right direction,” DiNorcia said. “I believe that the seniors helped pave the way for that. We’ve come a long way.”
As DiNorcia finishes her time as a Jasper, she hopes to see the team improve to a winning record in the future. She said that there are different people who can work together and have a connection, which will help the team be successful.
“This whole year was a learning process,” Yarusso said. “Getting that connection should start in the fall. With the incoming class, we should start building that relationship with everyone on the team.