Spartanburg, SC - Cape Fear women's soccer lost 2-1 to Gordan State College in the NJCAA Southeast District Tournament.
Both teams entered the game with near identical records of Cape Fear's 16-1-1 record and Gordan State's 16-1 record.
It was a tough outing for both teams due to heavy rain in the first half. While Gordan State took the early momentum, head coach Ryan Deppa liked the way his team battled back.
"I felt that even with the rain, and Gordan State College having us on our heels for the first ten to fifteen minutes, that our girls adapted and were finding their moments to improve the game from our end," said Deppa.
The two teams entered overtime level at 1-1. The score held until nearly the end of the second overtime, when Gordan State scored with around 1 minute and 45 seconds remaining to win in sudden death.
"Gordan State made a great play and scored a really great goal to end our season in the 2nd overtime," said coach Deppa. "Our kids worked hard for each other and stuck to the plan. They were confident. They battled. Our kids made some great plays in a big time game, it just didn't end how we thought it would. Hats off to Gordan State College and their team and staff.
"I felt that C.J, Kaitlin Plienis, and Tianna Boeckmann kept us organized. Our backs seemed to have a decent handle of the game, our midfield and attacking players showed some quality verse a well coached and disciplined team, and, at times, I felt we were dangerous in the attacking third of the field."
The loss unfortunately ends another strong season for the women's soccer team. With the effects of Hurricane Florence putting their season on hold and keeping them away from Wilmington for weeks, the team overcame a lot to finish as well as they did.
"This team really impressed me this year," said Deppa. "They had a tough road, and they worked though it together. A season like this creates many challenges, and many learning opportunities for everyone involved. These kids are stronger than they even know from this years experience. I am sure it will benefit them all down the road. The coaching staff and I, as I am sure many others, are very proud of them and their work that they did together. They walked off the field Friday together, with their heads up."
Many Sea Devils performed well this season.
The second year players, who include C.J Garvey, Carson Hood, Skyler Giolitti, Karina Carbajal, Anderson O'Neal, Kaila Acuna, and Madison Bolen, leave with a two year record of 33-3-1, outscoring opponents 197-17. They went undefeated at home and against Region 10 opponents. They won two regular season championships and region tournament championships.
"They have been good teammates and have worked to keep the program moving in the right direction," said coach Deppa of his second year players. "They all will do big things in whatever they choose for their next step."
Coach Deppa finished by reflecting on players moving on and those who will return for next season.
"Our sophomores and our second year transfers, which include Kaitlin Plienis, Dani Donovan, and Tianna Boeckmann, will move on in their college journey and life experience, and the current freshman after some time off will start putting their signature on the 2019 season. It is a conflicted feeling for the coaches, as the players moving on will be dearly missed on the field, at training, on the bus and so on. Then on the other side it is exciting to see what the returning team and the incoming recruiting class can do to carry on the strong tradition that so many players have helped build at Cape Fear."
Courtesy of Nick Denning