Going into a season, every team sets goals for itself. The 1997 GW women’s soccer team’s main goal was to make a second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, a goal it fell just short of achieving.
“We obviously weren’t pleased with the season because we didn’t reach our goals, and one of our goals was to reach the NCAAs,” head coach Shannon Higgins-Cirovski said. “Any time that happens you are a little disappointed.”
The Colonial women’s season ended Nov. 9 when the team lost 1-0 to first-seeded University of Massachusetts in the final of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. A win would have sent GW back to the NCAAs, but the Minutewomen were able to get a single shot past GW goalie Traci Jensen in the 80th minute of the game, while GW was not able to convert on any of the 10 shots it took.
With the loss, the GW women’s soccer team finished the 1997 season with a record of 13-7-2, a solid season in which members of the team accumulated many individual honors.
Senior forward Chemar Smith broke the all-time scoring and all-time goals scored records this season, with 108 total points and 45 goals for her career. These two milestones were probably part of the reason why Smith was named to the A-10 All-Conference Team. Midfielder Carri Sellers, a fellow senior, was selected to the second team All-Conference.
But Smith and Sellers, in addition to starting goalie Traci Jensen and a fine group of seniors, will be graduating after this year, and they will be a difficult group to replace, according to Higgins-Cirovski. The team will return junior forward Jane Andersen and freshman midfielder and second team All-Conference selection Lauren Papalia, who were third and second respectively in scoring for GW this season.
“Next year we are going to have a very young team, and I hope some of the players from this year’s team will step up and be leaders like Chemar and Carri were,” Higgins-Cirovski said.