Women’s soccer ends 2022 fall season


Photo courtesy of the National Junior College Athletic Association

The Riverhawks won four games and lost seven during the regular season, went 1-0 during the regional postseason and went 1-1 during nationals after changing from club to Division III.

Aidan Gunn and Holden Smith

The Riverhawks women’s soccer team finished its regular fall season with four wins and seven losses after changing its status from club to Division III.

In the regional and national postseason, the Riverhawks went 2-1. Still, the squad competed against mostly Division I and II teams this season because AACC is the only Division III competitor in Region 20.

Head coach Jim Griffiths said that contributed to the team’s first-round loss in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s national tournament in November.

“We played the majority of our schedule against [Division I and Division II] schools, where we’re in a Division III tournament.” Griffiths said. “And so our record wasn’t nearly as good as a lot of other teams. So I think they opened a lot of eyes with their play, and really just that they played well, I mean, there’s nothing more they could have done.”

The Riverhawks got shut out 4-0 by the returning champions, the Dallas College Brookhaven Bears, in the first round of the national tournament. 

Griffiths said the regular season was a “roller coaster.”

Defender and midfielder Ryann Brooks and midfielder Cassidy Smith led in regular-season scoring with five goals each. Smith also led the team with seven assists. 

“Tons of injuries, low numbers, but I have to give the girls a ton of credit,” Griffiths noted. “They persevered through everything. [They’re] really one of the hardest working groups I’ve ever coached and at numerous points during the season, they could have packed it in and they didn’t.”

Forward Taylor Stahl agreed.

“A lot of things were thrown our way that we weren’t expecting,” Stahl, a second-year psychology student, said. “[There were] game cancellations a lot of times [and] not enough players to have a sub. I think we did great. … We went into the season with 15 girls, and one practically broke her foot, another sprained [her] LCL in the knee and then a girl randomly quit. Then two of us had concussions at the same time.”

Griffiths said his goal for next year is to return to nationals. 

“The first goal is to have better numbers,” Griffiths said. “It looks like we’re going to based upon recruiting so far and then hopefully be more successful at the national tournament.”