The Mills soccer team lost 13-0 to Holy Names University last Saturday, in a grim end to a grueling, injury-filled season.
The game began with a tribute to the team’s graduating seniors, Kristy Papka and Jenn Leier. The coaches, as well as Leier’s parents, presented the seniors with flowers as the team applauded them.
Holy Names University moved quickly, scoring in the first 10 minutes of the game after two failed attempts flew high over the goal. The crowd subsisted of mostly Holy Names fans, cheering heavily for their team. However, partway into the first half the Mills cross-country team arrived to cheer on the Cyclones.
After scoring five goals in the first half, Holy Names continued to thrash the Mills soccer team for eight more goals in the second half. “Usually teams give up at seven goals and clear the bench to let less experienced players play. Holy Names just kept on going,” said Mills goal-keeper, junior Nicole DaSilva. Holy Names left the majority of their starters in the game, allowing them to continue scoring on the Mills team.
Regardless, Mills Cyclones played a good game, stopping the majority of Holy Names’ attempts to score. Sweeper/forward Jenn Leier stayed in the game the whole time, criss-crossing the field and stopping the ball whenever it was close to the goal.
“I think that Jenn absolutely loves soccer, it’s her passion and you can tell that when she plays,” said Mills’ athletic trainer Bridget Mansell. “She is always willing to teach her teammates, to share her knowledge and experience.” Leier has played soccer at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and for San Jose State University.
Also playing a major role in the game was goal-keeper Nicole DaSilva, even though she hyper-extended her elbow in the first half of the game. Mills currently does not have a backup goal-keeper, DaSilva has played in every game this season. “She hasn’t missed a game, plays through injuries and steps out of the goal to dominate the field in the last game of the season, she’s a badass,” said sophomore, and fan, Nina Rubenstien. Halfway through the second half, DaSilva was moved from the goal to the field, playing center mid-field for the remainder of the game while Boshion Crandall played keeper for the first time in a game.
The team finished the season with two wins, 10 losses, and one tie.
“I’d say we had some rough times and some really good times. Taking the experiences we’ve had, we’ve learned a lot. We’re definitely looking forward to next season,” said senior and team manager Maliheh Nakhai.