FLUSHING, N.Y. (Jul. 12, 2018) - The Queens College women's soccer team will face strong in-region competition once again as the squad gets set for the 2018 season. The Knights' schedule includes match-ups with top-tier opponents within the Northeast-10 and CACC as well as the usual suspects in East Coast Conference action that includes hosting last year's Final Four surprise in Mercy College.
Head Coach Nicole Pacapelli completed her second season at QC with the Knights obtaining a 5-10-2 record in overall action and a 2-5-1 mark in ECC play. Queens will have to contend with the graduation of Erin Vernillo, whose 20 career goals rank seventh all-time in QC women's soccer history. Vernillo and Guro Eriksen were All-ECC Third Team honorees; Eriksen totaled 15 points last season. On defense, a new goaltender may emerge after the graduation and departure of Nicole Cranny; Nikoletta Pravatta returns having started a contest in which she made seven saves to bolster a 2-2 draw with Bridgeport.
"This team is determined to make their mark on the field this year," Coach Pacapelli stated upon the release of her squad's list of games. "We have a very competitive core group of players returning who are driven to make Queens one of the best teams in not only the ECC but the entire East Region. The eleven new faces that are joining our program this season will without a doubt add great talent to the mix; pushing our team further and more aggressively than ever before. I am extremely excited to see just how far that will be against the teams we will be playing soon."
The Knights of Queens begin the year at home with a Thursday afternoon showcase against Saint Rose on Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. Always a perennial contender in the Northeast-10, the Golden Knights went 12-4-2 overall before a disappointing exit in the NE-10 quarterfinals to Assumption. QC heads to New Jersey on Sept. 2 to face Bloomfield College in non-conference action before returning to Flushing for three straight contests against Southern Connecticut (Sept. 5), Holy Family (Sept. 10) and Jefferson (Sept. 12). The latter two contests against the Tigers and Rams are return games from one year ago, affairs that Queens lost in Philadelphia by scores of 3-1 and 2-1, respectively.
The Knights open up conference play on Sept. 15 with the first-ever battle between Queens and the newest member of the East Coast Conference, Lincoln University. The Lions will host the maiden matchup in the southeastern section of Pennsylvania; Queens remains on the road for another NE-10 tilt with Bentley University on Sept. 20 before another three-game home-stand sees the Knights entertaining Saint Thomas Aquinas (Sept. 22), Chestnut Hill (Sept. 26) and the aforementioned Mercy College on Sept. 29. The Mavericks stunned the East Region by knocking out LIU Post in the NCAA Regional Quarterfinals before taking down West Chester to advance to the program's first-ever Final Four. The squad is led by junior forward and reigning ECC Offensive Player of the Year Ally Boots, who finished the year second in the conference in goals (15) and points (33).
The second half of the Knights' season kicks off on Oct. 3 as Queens travels to Pioneer Soccer Park to play LIU Post and 2017 ECC Coach of the Year Mark Dawson. The Pioneers were the top seed in the ECC Tournament one year ago but fell to Mercy in both the conference and regional title games. Following a Saturday afternoon bout on Oct. 6 with Roberts Wesleyan, the Knights make their way to Amherst for a midweek contest against Daemen on Oct. 10 before the schedule turns to non-conference play on Oct. 13. Queens will play on that Saturday against the Chargers of New Haven with a 3 p.m. showcase. The season culminates with three gritty conference bouts against NYIT (Oct. 17) and on the road versus Bridgeport (Oct. 20) and Molloy (Oct. 23) before the regular season finale against Dominican College on Oct. 26.