Aug. 15, 2007
By Jim Wrobel
Special to GoHolyCross.com
The 2007 Holy Cross women's soccer team returns 14 players from last season (4-14-2, 1-5-1 Patriot League), including eight starters, and will welcome three newcomers to the program. The 2006 squad improved in every major statistical category from the year before and with four of the five leading scorers returning and both goalies, 2007 is expected to be a strong season for the Crusaders.
"The team bonded and became very close on our summer trip to Europe," said fourth-year head coach Deb Flaherty. "Coming off that trip our players are excited for the start of the season. We also have three great freshmen coming into the program that are expected to contribute right away."
Senior co-captains Meighan Kelly and Alison Peters each bring strong leadership skills to the team. "Both of the captains have always been really good at leading by example on the field and now they will also have to step into the role of vocal leaders, which I think they will be strong at," said Flaherty.
Flaherty also likes the attitude of the team. "A major strength of the team is that everyone works together as a group," said Flaherty. "There is no division with classes on the team. Our players have an attitude that it does not matter if you are a senior or a freshman. Everyone is expected to contribute to the success of the team."
Here is a breakdown of how the Crusaders should look in 2007.
Peters is expected to be a key part of the Crusader offense again this year at forward as she will be looking to have a strong senior season and add to her career totals of six goals and two assists for 14 points. She is coming off a two goal and one assist 2006 campaign.
Freshman Lauren Wright is expected to contribute at the forward position. She comes to Holy Cross from Biglerville, Pa. where she scored 45 career goals as a three-year member of the varsity soccer team at Biglerville High School.
Flaherty will also be looking to junior midfielder Casey Boland, who scored a goal and had two assists as a forward as a freshman, to be able to possibly play forward in certain situations.
The Crusaders return a group of talented midfielders from a year ago. Boland is expected to have another big season as her eight career goals and 20 career points are the most of any current Crusader. She had a career-year in 2006, as she led the team in goals (seven) and points (16).
Boland will be joined by a wealth of talented sophomore midfielders in Megan Metzger, Sarah Gouveia, Chelsi Pugliese and Marielle Gonzalez. All four players gained key experience as they each saw a lot of playing time, as all four are expected to have strong sophomore seasons.
Kelly brings a ton of experience as the Crusaders' top defender as she has started in every game Holy Cross has played in the last three seasons. She has also contributed offensively for the Crusaders with four goals and four assists for 12 points in her career. Flaherty is hoping to also be able to give her some playing time in the midfield to take advantage of her offensive skills as well.
Junior Tracy Koval has played in 28 games with eight starts over the previous two seasons, while sophomore Kendra Demakis is coming off a solid freshman season as she played in 17 games and made 10 starts. Sophomore Courtney Callahan and freshman Jenna Campagna are expected to be contributors to the success of the defense. Campagna is from Berlin, Conn., where she played four years of varsity soccer at Berlin High School and earned Academic All-America honors.
Senior Jessica Pietrowicz and sophomore Jessica Stone return from last season which saw them both see action, while freshman Mary Ferketic joins the program. Pietrowicz played in 18 games last season with 15 starts as she led the Patriot League in saves (118) and saves per game (6.56). She also was named the Patriot League Goalie of the Week once.
Stone played in 11 games with five starts as she saw 559:16 of action, while she led all Patriot League freshmen in saves per game (5.00). Ferketic comes to Holy Cross from Conard High School in West Hartford, Conn., where she was a four-year member of the varsity soccer team. She was also a member of the Connecticut United Football Club that won three state championships.
Holy Cross is scheduled to play a total of 18 games this season, including eight contests at home at the Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium. The Crusaders will open the season with a pair of road games against Albany (Sept. 2) and New Hampshire (Sept. 5). Holy Cross will then play three straight home games with contests versus Central Connecticut (Sept. 7), Northeastern (Sept. 10) and Sacred Heart (Sept. 14). The Crusaders then play four of their next five games on the road with away matches at Siena (Sept. 16) and Maine (Sept. 21), a home game with Hartford (Sept. 23), followed by games at Manhattan (Sept. 28) and at Quinnipiac (Sept. 30).
Holy Cross returns to Worcester to open the Patriot League season for three consecutive home games against Lehigh (Oct. 7), Bucknell (Oct. 12) and Colgate (Oct. 14). After a conference game at Army (Oct. 20), the Crusaders will play their final home and non-conference game with a match up with Fairfield (Oct. 22). Holy Cross concludes the regular season with games on the road against American (Oct. 26), Navy (Oct. 28) and Lafayette (Nov. 3).
The Patriot League Tournament is set for Nov. 9-11, on the campus of the regular season champion. The top four teams in the final regular season standings will take part in the tournament.