NORFOLK, Neb. – Coming off its best record in program history a year ago, the Northeast Community College women's soccer team finished with another winning season in 2018, making a deep run in the conference tournament.
Despite a slow start to the 2018 season, the Hawks managed to secure three-straight wins and would go on to record five wins in nine games to close out the season.
"Our keys this season were finding the balance and connection on the field," head coach Chad Miller said. "We had a lot of freshmen start this season with others getting a lot of playing time, so it took some time for the coaches and players to get our shape and learn to run the formation to how it best fit us."
Northeast began postseason play with a dominating 5-0 victory over North Iowa Area Community College in the first round of the ICCAC Tournament. The Hawks' season came to an end on Oct. 24 after a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Iowa Central Community College.
A strong sophomore class led the way for the Hawks during the postseason, including future Notre Dame College (Ohio) commit Ellie Gess (Papillion, Neb.). Gess led the Hawks with eight goals and four assists in 16 starts. Fellow sophomore Tayler Ohu (Aurora, Colo.) pitched in four goals and Hailey Curry (Elkhorn, Neb.) added three.
"The sophomores showed that the 'dream' is possible and left a mark on the freshmen that things are left unfinished," Miller added. "The freshmen see possibilities in next season and they see that because of the sophomores."
Gess and Emma Weaver (Lakewood, Colo.) were named to the All-Region First Team for their efforts, while Mary Perez (Aurora, Colo.) and Amanda Stricker (Broomfield, Colo.) were named All-Region Second Team. Ohu and Dayla Miller (Papillion, Neb.) were also named to the All-Region Honorable Mention list.
Stricker didn't disappoint in her first year with the Hawks. In 12 games, she notched five goals and four assists. Perez was also a force in her first season, tallying three goals and four assists.
"Our freshmen did a great job of forming our formation, so making the most of our time and space to perfect our touches and understanding of what we need to be better at is what will direct us into the next season."
A total of 18 freshmen will return for next season, with most seeing valuable playing time in their first year with the program.
"We have a good group returning, so I am looking forward to seeing how they start with what feels like the next chapter of the program."
For all news related to Northeast Community College athletics, visit northeasthawks.com for complete coverage. Fans can also follow the Hawks on Twitter @NortheastHawks for game-day coverage.