BUZZARDS BAY, Mass – There is a little over a week until the Buccaneer women's soccer team begin their season in Maine against Maine Maritime and new head women's soccer coach John Sousa and his team are back on campus preparing for the 2019 season. In the MASCAC preseason poll, the Bucs have been picked to finish 8th in the conference.
Coach Sousa has named one captain for 2019, senior defenseman Emma McNally (Mashpee, Mass). The Cape Cod native has played in and started 42 games in her career, missing just four games in her time at the Academy. As a defender, she has four goals in her career, one of which came in a 5-2 victory over Newbury College in 2018. The other three goals and her lone career assist came in her freshman season.
"Emma is a great choice to serve as our captain." Said head coach John Sousa. "As one of two seniors on our team she will provide a great level of leadership and knowledge to the rest of the squad which includes a number of talented freshman. Emma has already been a presence off the field and we know she will continue to be one on the field as she has been throughout her career." Added Sousa.
Along with McNally, the Buccaneers welcome back eight players from the 2018 team, including second leading scorer from last season, Anna Deely (Marstons Mills, Mass). Deely scored four goals and added an assist in 2018 from an attacking midfield position, a position she is familiar with on both the soccer and lacrosse fields. Three of her four goals last year came in the 5-2 win over Newbury, the fourth in a 4-0 victory over Pine Manor College.
Also back for 2019 are senior Jessica Baldassini (Middleboro, Mass) and sophomore Rachel Demmer (Rochester, Mass). Baldassini has been great with the ball at her feet in her three years with the Bucs. Though she had no goals last season, she did tally an assist in 14 games started. Demmer stepped in to last year's team immediately as a freshman starting 15 of 16 games. Her speed and field awareness are two traits that will be on full display in Coach Sousa's system.
The team welcomes in seven new players, six freshman and a junior transfer to round out the squad at 15 players.
"I am excited to see what we can do on the field. With two seniors we have a young team with a lot of talent and ability." Said Coach Sousa.
The Buccaneers will open their 2019 campaign on the road in the first Maritime Cup, hosted by Maine Maritime. The team will take on Maine Maritime at 5pm on Friday, September 6th to open their season, followed by a matchup with SUNY Maritime College on Saturday, September 7th at 2:30pm.
Maritime will play their home opener on Monday, September 9th against the Suffolk University Rams on the new turf at Clean Harbors Stadium at 7pm.
A road game against Rivier University on September 13th and a pair of home matches against Nichols College and Mitchell College on September 16th and 18th respectively will bring the team up to the beginning of MASCAC play. The Bucs open their Conference schedule on the road on Saturday, September 21st against Worcester State. The team then returns home for a non-conference matchup with Bay Path University before closing out the month of September with another road conference game against Framingham State on the 28th.
October begins with a home MASCAC duel with Bridgewater State on Friday night, October 4th at 7pm followed by a trip to Leicester, Mass to take on Becker College. The rest of the month features alternating conference and non-conference games as the Bucs will host Fitchburg in MASCAC play and Anna Maria in non-conference play on the 12th and 14th followed by a trip to Salem State to take on the Vikings on the 19th. The last two games of the month will take place in Buzzards Bay against Pine Manor, one of the two teams the Bucs beat last season, followed by a conference game against MCLA on the 26th. The game against MCLA is the final home game of the regular season and will also be senior day for Baldassini and McNally.
The regular season concludes on Saturday, November 2nd on the road against Westfield State at 12pm.
For more information about the women's soccer schedule, roster and coaching staff, visit mmabucs.com.