During the season, the Skidmore College women's soccer team had struggled to find its offense. Hosting Nazareth College on Senior Day Saturday, it was still a struggle.
That was the bad news for the Thoroughbreds.
The good news for Skidmore was a little offense and solid defense was enough as the Thoroughbreds ended the season on a high note, recording a 1-0 victory over the Golden Eagles at Wachenhein Field.
Skidmore wraps up the campaign with a 4-9-2 ledger, while the Golden Eagles now own a 9-5-4 slate.
"Good things come to those who wait I suppose," Skidmore coach Lacey Largeteau said. "The good thing about the kids today is they came out with the mindset of we've got nothing to lose and everything to gain - let's play for our seniors, have fun, enjoy each other and look like Skidmore soccer.
"It came down to that stuff. As soon as they can go in and enjoy the game - because it's a great game - it boosted their energy in front of the net."
The seniors suiting up one last time for Skidmore included Kelsey Yam, Maggie Abernethy, Rebecca Russo, Lucy Campbell, Sarah LaBella and Michelle Finan.
Senior Maggie Abernethy (#14)
It was Finan who made her final Skidmore game a memorable one, setting up the match's lone goal with a corner kick. Finan's pass found freshman Erin Barry, who found that energy in front of the net, putting a perfect header past starting Nazareth goal keeper Abbie Carey at the 57:21 mark.
It was the first goal allowed by the Golden Eagles in five matches.
Finan would also be responsible for maintaining the shutout with time running down in the match, clearing a ball off the goal line.
"It's not often that it happens and it feels good," Finan said of contributing to the goal. "It's definitely one of those things that if it's going to happen, it has to be perfectly timed and that was one of those times."
Nazareth actually had a good scoring opportunity in the 41st minute, but in a one-on-one situation in the box, Danielle Wilkin had a shot stopped by Thoroughbreds' goal keeper Gab Lawrence to maintain a scoreless stalemate at intermission.
The Golden Eagles had two scoring chances in the second half, the first coming with just under nine minutes left, but Lawrence made a stop off a corner rebound. At the 5:30 mark, Lawrence made another save off a corner, getting some help from Finan to stop the rebound.
"Obviously it was their senior day and they played hard," Nazareth coach Gail Mann said. "I think they wanted it a little more than we did.
"You create very few opportunities on turf because the ball goes out of bounds a lot. So when you create them, you have to capitalize on them. We did create a few, we just didn't finish well."
For Largeteau, the deciding factor in the contest came in the middle third of the field.
"The biggest difference today was we won the midfield," she said. "If you can win the middle of the field and mean it, meaning keep the ball and do something productive with it, it means all the difference in the world."
Lawrence finished with seven saves on the day for Skidmore, while Carey had four in the first 57:21 for the Golden Eagles. Bethany Novak had one save for the Golden Eagles in relief. Nazareth totaled 12 shots to nine for the Thoroughbreds and had a 5-2 margin in corners.
"It was definitely a great feeling - kind of a cherry on top to end the season," Finan said of the win. "That defines the year we've had. We've stuck through it, stood behind each other and worked through it, so it was just a good team effort."
ON THE WIRE