Riverhawks women’s soccer to play in national postseason


AACC Athletics

The Riverhawks advance to nationals for the first time in eight years.

Dan Elson, Sports Editor

The Riverhawks women’s soccer team beat the Suffolk County Community College Sharks 1-0 in overtime on Saturday to advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III national tournament.

During the regular season, the team won four games and lost seven before beating the Sharks in the Mid-Atlantic District Championship game.

The Riverhawks will play up to three games in nationals at Herkimer Community College in New York between Nov. 9-13. This is the team’s first appearance in eight years and the sixth time under head coach Jim Griffiths, who returned to manage the squad this year for the first time since 2016.

“I owe it all to my defense,” goalkeeper Ryann Brooks, a second-year film student, said. “They protect me quite a bit. I’d say I had easy saves, they were all straight to the hand. Defense did a great job protecting me for the first time in goal ever.”

Forward Madelynn Rowe scored in the 108th minute of the game with assistance from midfielder Cassidy Smith. Goalkeeper Ryann Brooks turned away seven shots in her debut between the pipes.

Rowe, a second-year transfer studies student, added her mind “went blank” after she scored.

“I wasn’t really thinking, because I was just so tired and [I wanted] to win,” Rowe noted. … “I could see the goal and [I] kind of just felt like it was going to go in.”

Smith, a midfielder, said it feels good to go to nationals.

“We were a club last year so it’s just a really big step up to be able to go so much farther this year,” Smith, a second-year childhood psychology student, said. “And I’m just really proud of everything everyone’s done to get there.”

Griffiths agreed.

“I’m just excited they get to go,” Griffiths said. “I think it’s a neat experience and you could see how happy they were after the game. So it was gratifying.”

Midfielder and defender Asylin Wesemen said the team celebrated after the Mid-Atlantic victory.

“We all huddled and jump[ed around],” Wesemen, a first-year nursing student, said.

Reporter Cole Popov contributed to this story.