Stony Brook Women's Soccer 2000 Season Preview
Aug. 22, 2000
Stony Brook, N.Y. - Expectations. They come with success. Last year's team entered the 1999 season coming off their most successful season at the Division I level. Naturally, the expectation was to build upon that success and begin to set a new standard for Stony Brook soccer. Well, the season did not turn out as planned. Injuries, some bad breaks and some close losses saddled the team with an 8-11 record, far short of what the team wanted to accomplish. However, coach Ryan's troops have shrugged off the disappointment of last year and have rededicated their efforts towards 2000.
The 2000 edition of the Seawolves will have only one senior and 14 underclassmen. The youthful team possesses plenty of experience, however, as last year's freshmen accounted for 66 game starts. As the fall approaches, the young bunch of Seawolves is eager to show that 1998 was no fluke.
Offense A pair of juniors will be counted on heavily at attack this year. Lori Kotzen and Kerri McCabe return for their third season with Stony Brook and possess the most experience at the position. McCabe continues to develop nicely, scoring four goals and adding one assist last year. McCabe adopted a vigorous off-season training regimen and may be ready for a breakout season. Last year, Kotzen was slowed by a broken wrist and notched a disappointing two goals in after a promising freshman season. She played the final six weeks of the season in a cast. She is determined to make the 2000 season her best ever. Senior Marti Yeager (2 goals) enters her final season and will be a valuable contributor off the bench for coach Ryan.
Sophomore Krisha Zagura was one of the surprises in `99. Zagura's showed good speed and presence around the goal coming off the bench early in the season. She eventually earned a spot in the starting lineup and finished the season as the team's leading goal scorer with six tallies.
Classmate Sarah Hanover also made significant contributions as a freshman. Hanover appeared in 17 games, starting five and notched the game-winning goal against Marist. A valuable role player, Hanover will again be called upon by coach Ryan wherever the need may be. Sophomore Jenny Fontanetta also returns after missing most of the season due to illness. The native Floridian came down with mononucleosis five games into the season and missed the final 14 games.
Newcomer Lauren Canino is an exciting player who adds speed to the Stony Brook attack and will be expected to contribute immediately at the forward position. The Missouri native was the Independence Examiner Player of the Year in 1999 and the Kansas City Star's All-Metro Player of the Year last fall after scoring 25 goals to lead her team to a third place finish in the state. Freshman Jessica Enes joins the Seawolves this season after sitting out her final high school season with a knee injury. If Enes can fully recover from the injury, she could give the forwards a lift this year.
Midfield Sophomore Beth Arikian lived up to her lofty expectations last year when she arrived on campus. The former NSCAA High School All-American anchored the midfield position, displaying the great vision and ball distributing ability of a top midfielder. She stepped in and started all 19 games in the middle for coach Ryan. She scored three goals and was the team's top playmaker with six assists. Her six assists ranked as the seventh-best single-season performance in school history. Fellow newcomer Emily Snyder also started all 19 games as a freshman. A hard-nosed player who understands the game, Snyder tallied once last year and is expected to continue her growth as a player in 2000. There is a possibility that Snyder could move to the outside back position. She saw time there last season and may shift to the defender role during the year.
Second-year performer Stephanie Smyrl adds depth to the midfield position. Smyrl (pronounced like girl) appeared in 15 games as a freshman and will look to earn more time this season.
Freshman Sarah Greenberg is expected to give the team a boost at the flank midfield spot. The All-State player from New Jersey fills a big hole vacated by the graduation of Audra Dutkowsky and Melissa Eigen. Greenberg has the talent to step in and earn a starting role right away.
In The Back The defense will reload this season after losing two key starters to graduation. Four-year starters Melissa Eigen and Larisa Mahns said good-bye last spring and have turned the reins over to a young corps of defenders ready to step right in. Junior Lisa Mariano emerged as a star for the Seawolves in `99. An outside back, her tenacious play is complemented by her outstanding speed, giving her the ability to move up into the attack as she did last season when she recorded two goals and an assist. There seems like there is nothing in her way from establishing herself as one of the finest players in the Northeast. Her superior speed may be utilized in an even more offensive role this season, moving up into the midfield at times to strengthen the Seawolves attack.
Junior Kristin Lynch returns to anchor the Seawolves defense. The Fairport, N.Y. native has been a two-year starter for Stony Brook and has made a dramatic impact on the team in two season. Known mostly for her defensive prowess, Lynch showed a knack for putting the ball in the net last year, finishing second on the team in goals scored with five. All five goals were headers that came on corner kicks from Beth Arikian. Lynch will have to quarterback the defense from the sweeper position.
Coach Ryan has her fingers crossed when it comes to sophomore Kristin Baker. Baker came on strong in the second half of `99, starting the final 11 games of the season. Baker arguably was Stony Brook's most improved player last year as she shut down opponents on the outside with her smart defensive instincts and good recovery speed. Unfortunately, Baker went down with a foot injury in the spring and her playing status in unclear heading into the fall.
If Baker is unable to go, coach Ryan may turn to Snyder or perhaps the front running McCabe may be given a shot in the back. Either way, there will be some new faces on the back line this season and veterans Lynch and Mariano will have to help the group mature throughout the season.
Between the Pipes An interesting situation is developing in the Stony Brook goal. Last year, Lori Nelson stepped in as a freshman and started 18 games in goal, registering three shutouts along the way. However, backup Renee Pelletier emerged in the spring as a viable candidate for the starting role this fall. Both Nelson and Pelletier will battle for the starting nod in August. Ashley Blake will be the backup this season.
What To Look For The Seawolves scored 27 goals in 19 games last year and know that number must increase significantly to improve on the 8-11 mark from a year ago. McCabe and Kotzen are now veteran forwards who seemed determined to get that done and if they can Stony Brook may be tough to beat. Arikian will continue to carry the midfield position and with a strong defense the Seawolves will look to push the win total into double digits in 2000.
"We are looking forward to the 2000 season. We return eight starters to a young team that is eager to bounce back from last year. Our veterans made great strides in the spring and hopefully our newcomers will be able to take us back to where we were two years ago," Ryan said.