The past two seasons have seen the men's and women's soccer programs at Union combine for an overall record of 45-20-3. The women will host this year's UCAA championship tournament while the men are in the hunt for a two, three, or fourth place seed depending on how they do in the regular-season finale against Skidmore on Saturday (Nov. 2)—that game has been moved to the Clifton Commons in Clifton Park because of the poor conditions on Garis Field. Game time is still 11 a.m.
One of the biggest reasons for the success of the two programs has been the consistent play of the goaltenders.
Senior Carolyn Stead (Portland, ME/Deering) is a three-year starter for the Dutchwomen and has compiled a career record of 38-6-3 including this year's mark of 8-1-0. She had produced 24 shutouts in her 47-game career, including six this season, and has a career goals against average of 0.63 with a save percentage of .871.
Behind Stead is freshman Julie Gawronski (Dunkirk, NY/Dunkirk High), who was named the UCAA's “Goalkeeper of the Week” after combining with Stead to help the Dutchwomen win all three of last week's games my shutout. Gawronski had two saves in 45 minutes of work in the 5-0 victory over St. John Fisher, one save in 45 minutes in the 3-0 win over Clarkson, and four saves in 90 minutes of the 2-0 triumph over St. Lawrence that gave the Dutchwomen the 2002 UCAA regular-season championship.
Gawronski is 4-3 this year with three shutouts.
The men, who are on the verge of posting their first back-to-back winning seasons since 1992 and 1993, have a very solid netminder in sophomore Kevin O'Connor (Reston, VA/South Lakes). O'Connor, who posted a 10-7 record with six shutouts during his rookie season, hasn't missed a beat this year. The 5'10, 165-pounder is 8-6-2 this season and owns a goals against average of 1.05 with a .844 save percentage. Six of this year's victories have come by shutout.
Union goes into Saturday's regular-season finale in third place in the UCAA standings and can take over second with a win. The four-team tournament will be held November 9 & 10 at St. Lawrence with the champion earning the conference's automatic NCAA berth.