In head coach Terry Gurnett’s final game, the Yellowjackets were outmatched by a tough SUNY Oneonta squad. UR was looking for revenge after losing to Oneonta in their second game of the season but was unable to keep up.
“A second round loss in the NCAA tournament was not all we could have hoped for in our postseason, but we played a hard game and unfortunately Oneonta was able to beat us,” junior forward Ellen Coleman said. “I wish we could have put together a postseason run worthy of Terry’s final season, but we got cut down a little early.”
The women started off their postseason campaign on Friday against Western Connecticut State University. With less than four minutes into regulation, senior forward Brittany Huber passed the ball into the box where senior forward Bridgette Varin was waiting to score.
UR played strong defense after the quick goal to keep Western Connecticut’s offense at bay. UR allowed one shot on goal, which was blocked by sophomore goalie Bridget Lang, who was getting her first start in her postseason career.
“We scored very early in the game, which was huge for us,” senior forward/midfielder Kirsten Ross said. “We have been having trouble scoring in the first half, and that goal really helped us to gain momentum early and control the game.
The women had to clear their minds for an early turnaround game against Oneonta the next afternoon. The game was tight throughout the first half, with each team getting scoring opportunities.
Midway through the second half, Oneonta drove the ball from end to end, breaking down UR defense and eventually scoring the first and winning goal of the match.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted on Saturday, but overall I felt that everyone stepped up and gave a really great effort this weekend,” Huber said. “We all worked really hard for each other and for Terry. It was an emotional weekend for everyone.”
Despite losing in the second round, the season was not a lost cause for the women. Each one learned and grew from their memorable season.
“We beat numerous ranked opponents throughout the season, including UAA Champion Chicago [University],” Ross said. “All season long we talked about working hard and not letting down the other 10 people on the field, and it was awesome to see how people took it to heart and really worked hard every day.”
The loss on Saturday marks the end of a hall of fame caliber coaching career for Gurnett. The women’s soccer landscape has forever been changed by his remarkable ability to win games in his 34 years. The team must now move ahead, hoping create new legacies.
“Terry is someone who is irreplaceable,” Varin said. “Unless you have had Terry as a coach you can’t understand just how great he is. He genuinely cares about every single person on every one of his teams.”
Manrique is a member of the class of 2012.