Friday, August 26, 2005
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While the members of the Muhlenberg womens soccer team spent their preseason waiting for Head Coach Leslie Benintend to give birth to her first child, they were also working hard to help the program experience a rebirth.
After winning the Centennial Conference regular-season title four straight
Last years team graduated five senior starters, and the 2003 CC-championship squad featured four senior starters. That leaves this years edition, which opens up with a home game against Cabrini on Thursday, youthful and a little short on experience.
Its a big transition, said Katie Amari, one of only two seniors on the team. We have lots of young players and it might take us a little while to put things together.
However, Amari noted, Weve started slow every year Ive been here. We have an interesting system and until everyone all 11 players knows what theyre doing it can be a little frustrating.
Of particular concern is finding sources of offense, since Muhlenberg lost players who scored 18 of its 30 goals last year. Only one active player the other senior, Amy Schmidt has scored more than three career goals.
Were really working on keeping the ball moving forward, and not stopping and moving back, said Amari. We also want to take more shots from the outside. We didnt do it enough last year but we were successful when we did it.
Junior Elana Rabinowitz, who scored three goals last year, is the lone returning forward with experience, so the Mules will look to the more-seasoned midfield for production. Schmidt scored a career-high 12 points on five goals and two assists, earning a spot on the All-CC second team. She is joined in the center midfield by junior Andrea Dello Russo (two goals, two assists).
At the flank positions, juniors Kristen Cioeta (two goals, one assist) and Maria Tranguch return as starters, while juniors Becky Giuditta and Emily Nealis and sophomore Megan Francis will look to play increased roles.
The back line features the only two returning players who started all 18 games last year in Amari and sophomore Maura Hendsey. A freshman will most likely claim the third starting spot in front of juniors Kayla Boisvert and Shauna Henley, who are in competition for the starting goalie spot. Boisvert started 26 games the last two years and has a career 1.05 goals-against average.
Muhlenberg, which was picked to finish fourth in the CC preseason poll, has history on its side, even if it is one players personal history. My college career has mirrored my high school career almost exactly, explained Amari, who has switched back to her high school number (5) after wearing 27 for three years. My senior year [in high school] we didnt have many seniors and there were low expectations, and we ended up winning the conference.
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Last updated August 26, 2005