The women’s soccer team honored six players on Saturday Oct 15 at Taylor Field as part of Family, Friends, and Alumni (FFA) weekend. Seniors (L-R Helen Bugaev, Alexys Soujanen, Bobbi O’Guin, Caroline St. Croix, Maria Henriquez, and Kyli Swann) were met by their families at center-field for the ceremony pre-game.
The match ended 6-0 in favor of the Lasers over the Simmons University Sharks, a result head coach Vito LaFrancesca was pleased with.
“I think once we settled in, we started playing our game, started possessing the ball and things just went for the best,’ said LaFrancesca.
Bugaev was gracious for the experience she had alongside her teammates and loved ones. “I never thought that senior day would come so fast. It was such an amazing day.., and it was even better because I got to share that moment with my family,” said Bugaev. “Being on the team for the past 4 years I have made so many great friends that have helped me overcome things on and off the field… Being on a team like this feels like a family. I will definitely be coming back next year to support the girls.”
Three of the earlier honored seniors scored that afternoon. O’Guin opened the floodgates for the home team after scoring the initial goal less than ten minutes into the match off an assist by fifth-year forward Serena Speight.
Just a minute later, the Lasers were awarded a penalty. St. Croix was summoned to the box, and the defender promptly slotted it in the top left corner past junior Sharks keeper Marita Nothacker for her first career goal.
The final senior score of the afternoon came from Henriquez in the second half with just ten minutes remaining. At this point, the Lasers had accumulated three more goals from Speight, and first-years Sarah Lynch and Alex Delaney.
After an unsuccessful O’Guin attack, Henriquez was there to pick up the pieces and tap in her second career goal, and first of the season.
In the wake of the win, LaFrancesca addressed how bitter-sweet the day was. He noted the holes O’Guin, Soujanen, St. Corix and more would leave upon exiting the program, but seemed confident in the players in the pipeline.
“I think we’re only missing three seniors that start, but then we got a really young core with Julia [Vailancourt] in the back, Lynch up top. We got [Michelina D’Agostino] and Emily (DeHart) in the middle… with Priscilla [Martinelli]. We got Camdyn [LaMarre], so we got some future coming up.”
Despite having to acknowledge adjustments ahead for the team, LaFrancesca still praised the afternoon experience. “I look forward to this every year. It’s just a wonderful day and also if we can perform it makes it even better,” said LaFrancesca.
The Lasers improved their conference record to 8-1-1 after the victory. They play next at home against the Anna Maria Amcats at 3 p.m. at Taylor Field on Wednesday.