The Stetson women's soccer team (3-13-1, 1-7-1) finished the 2012-13 season on Sunday afternoon, falling to Kennesaw State (10-7-1, 6-2-1) by a score of 3-0 on Senior Day.
"They're the heart and soul of our program," Head Coach Julie Orlowski said of seniors Kaisi Hartwick and Kristen Mueller, who were honored before Sunday's match, their final game as Hatters. "They really left a strong legacy of leadership and perseverance. They're great kids that you can build a program around.
"Even though we may not have gotten the things we wanted in terms of wins and losses this year," Orlowski continued. "We definitely took huge strides as far as our team culture, and the legacy they leave is really going to be impactful for years to come."
The Owls were able to take the advantage against Stetson in the 33rd minute when Jewelia Strickland's free kick found Nicole Calder in the box. Calder headed it past goalkeeper Victoria Troccoli and into the back of the net to give Kennesaw State the early 1-0 lead.
Late in the first half Troccoli kept the Hatters in the game with a remarkable save on Kelsey Barr's shot from point blank range. With just three and a half minute remaining, Troccoli was able to keep the Stetson deficit at just one goal at halftime.
Stetson battled during the second half, recording four shots in the frame, but Kennesaw's eight resulted in a pair of scores in the final 10 minutes to give the Owls the 3-0 victory. The Hatters almost got on the board with just three and a half left in the game when freshman Mara Keomanivane found freshman Caroline Hurckes in the box. Hurckes's attempt at goal was tipped up and over the net by KSU goalkeeper Lauren Roberts.
"It's a young group, and they learned how to deal with adversity," Orlowski said. "They learned how to work through a lot of things, so for that in itself, I think that's a very good stepping stone. I always tell people that experience is failure, so we did go out and get some experience. That's going to be a good building block for our future."
Coach Orlowski Interview