Samford’s women’s soccer season has come to a close, as the Bulldogs fell to the University of Georgia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Veterans Day. The game ended in a 2-0 loss, as Georgia looked highly comfortable on their home field.
Goalkeeper Emma Donley said, “The great home crowd caused some nerves for us in the first half, which gave way to their [Georgia’s] chances early on. hey were a very talented team with lots of athletic women; they were very fast and pretty physical. We all knew that we had a job to get done this game. We wanted to keep playing together for as long as we could.”
Despite the crushing loss, Donley said she believes that “it is just a game, and the friendships and valuable life lessons are what we will remember.”
Samford Soccer has had an incredible season once again, as the team claimed their ninth straight SoCon regular season title. In addition, Samford won their fourth SoCon Tournament title in an all-time classic. Donley played a massive role in the championship game, as she conceded no goals in 110 minutes of play and outlasted UNCG in the ninth round of penalty kicks. As she reflected back on the season, Donley gleaned many positives.
“I learned that we cannot take any day we put our cleats on for granted because we really do not know when it could be the last time,” Donley said. “No matter what, you have to show up every day thankful, ready to work, and with a positive mindset to achieve the things you want. It is not always going to be easy. Some days you will fail, but how you respond to failure is what is most important.”
Despite a disappointing end to a stellar season, Samford Soccer has a lot to be proud of. The Bulldogs will resume play next fall, hungry for another championship opportunity.