DELHI, N.Y. (November 2, 2018) – Early Thursday morning, the SUNY Delhi women's soccer team disembarked from the foothills of the Catskill Mountains for an 18-hour journey to Finlandia University in Hancock, Mich. for the ACAA Tournament. Under second-year head coach Lauren Mackay, the Broncos finished the regular season at 11-3, pulling a complete 180 from their 3-11 mark from last season. They will face familiar-foe Alfred State in the conference semifinals on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
The winner of Saturday's contest will move on to the conference championship on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. The finalist will play the victor of the semifinals match between host Finlandia and Thomas More, set for Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
"For this weekend, we are going in with the same mentality we have all season: that this game is the most important game we have played so far. Regardless of our opponent, it has been important for the team to focus on one game at a time. Before each game, we start with three focus points and the first one is always 100% effort and organization on the field. With that mindset on Saturday, we have the potential to be successful. Alfred is a strong opponent who we played during the season and it's a challenge to beat a team twice. I am confident that our team will rise to the occasion."
Delhi stormed out the gate to start the season, winning their first nine games. They recently capped the regular season with a 2-1 win at SUNY Poly and outdueling Fisher in a 6-4 shootout. Five of the ladies' wins were decided by one goal, as were two of their three defeats. Coach Mackay's squad posted a 6-1 record against NCAA Division III opponents, and 2-0 versus ACAA opponents, including Alfred State and Pratt. The Broncos were ranked first nationally in the USCAA Division II Coaches Poll for four consecutive weeks.
The team's opening winning stretch included a victory over Alfred State in the Broncos' home opener, as well as a pair of double-overtime home wins. The first came across Elmira. Trailing, 1-0, for most of the contest, senior midfielder Katie Herba tied the match in the 84th minute. With a draw looming late into the second overtime period, Brianna Laing scored the game-winning goal in minute 109. Similar heroics came just eight days later versus Keystone. Heading into the 109th minute in a scoreless match with the Giants, freshman Kelsey Innes, after pummeling the visitors with 12 shots and eight on goal, finally broke through to give the Broncos a 1-0 win.
Innes and Herba proved to be the Broncos' potent scoring pair all season. Innes logged 29 points on 12 goals and five assists, while Herba ranked second with 28 points on 11 goals and six assists. Freshman goalkeeper Rachael Scoones also proved to be a major presence in goal, posting a 7-3 record with three shutouts, as well as 1.30 goals allowed average and .825 save percentage. Scoones was twice named the ACAA Defensive Player of the Week.
The one constant to the Broncos' success in 2018 has been their defense. When Scoones was not in goal, keepers Jacqueline Slentz and Jessica Shultis were there to rise to the occasion. Shultis posted a perfect 4-0 mark, as her and Slentz each gave up just one goal over the campaign. Backed by a talented back, featuring junior Sydney Tuysuzian and freshmen Olivia Curry and Hunter Hitchcock, Delhi has given up just 16 goals all season with five shutouts.