Coach Riker, Camels Comment on Winning 2014 NESCAC Championship Sunday

Coach Riker, Camels  Comment on Winning 2014 NESCAC Championship Sunday

The Connecticut College women's soccer team has won the 2014 NESCAC Championship.

Coach Riker and the Camels took time to comment on this historic day for the Camel Athletic program.

Quotes from the 2014 NESCAC Championship

Head Coach Norm Riker

Q: How does it feel to win the program's first team NESCAC Championship

To be a part of history and to have put a coaching staff together with the incredible women we have in this program and for them to do it this season is just absolutely incredible. It's been a great season with incredible people who has just sold out for each other all of the time. It's kind of fitting that we avenged the two losses we had this season in the past two days even though today's game with Williams technically goes into the books as a draw.  But we are really proud and honored to win the NESCAC Championship on this field against that program.

Q: Can you tell me who you rallied the troops after Williams scored the equalizer in the 87th minute

It's a credit to our women.  I was concerned when they scored and when that happens in a typical game, you can end up losing 2-1.  I just give our team a lot of credit for getting out of the regulation, getting back to the bench and refocusing.  We did that. That's a credit to them and their mental toughness. Obviously, we were disappointed to give it up. But, you know what, Williams is a great team. That's what happens when you play a great opponent. It's a NESCAC Championship. We expected to have a hard fought battle.  I could not have quite written it this way, but we're thrilled about the way it played out.

Q: Bryanna Montalvo was terrific today. Can you comment on her play in the goal

She's been like that all season. She's just a great player and a great goalie for us. She's really the backbone of our team.  We're 15-2-1 for a reason and Bry is a big part of that reason.  

Q: Coach, do you have any other thoughts about today's win.

I look at our three seniors and I'm really proud of all of them. Rebecca Raymond took a fifth year to come back and play and be part of this and we're so proud and happy for her.  I'm also proud of my two four-year seniors, Grace Bilodeau and Astrid Kempainen.  To see Grace and Astrid go through the roller coaster ride of building this program and have them now become NESCAC Champions is an absolute incredible story. I'm just so proud of them.

Assistant Coach Brigi Palatino, Connecticut College Class of 2012

Q: Coach Palatino, Can you talk about this team and what makes them so special and successful

These women have such a great bond. It was a great experience to watch them grow and develop throughout the season. They have just been working and supporting each other every day.  I think it really showed on the field.  They deserve everything they've accomplished. They worked for it and I'm just so proud of each and every one of them.

 

Fran Shields, the Katherine Wenc Christoffers '45 Director of Athletics and Chair of Physical Education

Q: Fran, congratulations, can you comment on the big win for the Camels today.

This is a tribute to Norm Riker.  Over the past four years, Norm has built a program and done a great job recruiting, leading and making this team believe in his plan. He's put together a coaching staff that's really diverse with everyone contributing. All of these coaches have had a different role.  For our goalie coach John Lehet to get Amanda (Onofrio) ready to be the designated penalty kick goalie, that's just a great example of the incredible teamwork that this team has displayed all year long.

Q: Can you talk about the significance of winning this First Team NESCAC crown.

This is the 15th year now that we've held these championships. So to have a Connecticut College team breakthrough two years ago when our volleyball program reached the NESCAC Finals and then for this team to bring home a trophy is history for the College. But there's more to come.

Alexa Tribelli '18

Q: Can you talk about what your strategy was offensively and how it led to your first half goal that got things started today

I just knew that when we played them the first time they obviously got the first goal when they beat us 3-0. So I knew we had to come out and score first. It was just a matter of giving it 100% and having heart and finding a way to get the job done today.  It's such a relief to get the win. I'm still shaking. I can't believe it!

Morgan Cowie-Haskell '16

Q: Morgan, what was the key to pulling out today's win and how does it feel to be a NESCAC Champion

It was a whole team effort. We battled and I'm so extremely proud of every member of the team. We just made history and I'm thrilled.

Grace Bilodeau '14

Q: Grace, how does it feel to be a NESCAC Champion

We're all just overly excited.  We can believe that it happened because we worked so hard. But it's still something that we were looking to attain and we did it. So there's no better feeling than that.

Lowell Abbott, Connecticut College Class of 2014, Student-Athlete in Soccer & Lacrosse

Q: Lowell, as a two-sport athlete, it must be a special feeling to see the women's soccer program celebrate with this NESCAC Championship today.

It is unbelievable! I'm speechless. I'm just so happy and proud of these wonderful women.

Michael Flippin '15, Connecticut College Men's Soccer Back Who Contributed to the First Camel Men's Soccer Team That Advance to a NESCAC Championship Semifinal

Q: Mike, this NESCAC Championship and the accomplishments of this team are impressive. As a dedicated four-year student-athlete, you can really appreciate the work that this team put in to make it happen today

I am very proud of the women's soccer team. Coming from not making the playoffs last year to winning the NESCAC Championship today is unreal. It's been an awesome ride watching them do great things this year and I'm very proud of them. Coach Riker, you did a great job this year!