2009 WOMEN'S SOCCER SEASON PREVIEW
After a difficult 4-13-0 record (3-6-0 WVIAC) a year ago, Head Coach Jim Herlinger (2nd season) and the Lady Cats are hoping to turn their fortunes around this fall. Pitt-Johnstown lost just one player to graduation, while 10 starters, including five seniors, return to guide the Lady Cats in 2009.
Of the five seniors, Alicia Zack (F, Irwin, Pa.), Kristin Kelly (M/F, Bethel Park, Pa.) and Emily Babik (D, St. Marys, Pa.) were All-WVIAC Team selections in 2008. On the heels of these standout players are fellow seniors are Lindsay Plowman (M, Apollo, Pa.) and Chrissy Burnsworth (F, McKeesport, Pa.). “Plowman has worked extremely hard preparing for this season," Coach Herlinger said. “She’ll definitely have an impact. Burnsworth has struggled with injuries, but if we can get her healthy, she has the ability to be a major contributor to the attack”.
“This is a great group of seniors,” Coach Herlinger said. “They work hard, encourage their teammates and are very “coachable”. It would be great to see them go out on a high note.”
Three new captains have been named for 2009. Plowman and Babik will be joined by sophomore Mandi DeLeo (D, North Huntingdon, Pa.). All three have the work ethic and determination to be great examples to the younger players.
Players to Watch
Stephanie Paha (GK, Slickville, Pa.) will be in the net for the third straight year. Freshman Victoria DerVanik (GK, Bridgeville, Pa.) and sophomore Aubrey Mauger (GK, North Huntingdon, Pa.) could push her for playing time
On defense, Babik and DeLeo will be joined by sophomores Cassie Nath (D, Ligonier, Pa.) and Laura Hoehn (D, Braddock Hills, Pa.). Freshmen Kate McGrath (D, North Babylon, NY), Caity Steiner (D, Elizabeth, Pa.), Lanie Thompson (D, Keystone Oaks, Pa.), Kelsey Richardson (D, Scottdale, Pa.), Brianne Seitz (D, Johnstown, Pa.) and Haley Wanninger (D, New Bethlehem, Pa.) will compete with junior Katie Croyle (D, Petersburg, Pa.) and red-shirt freshman Amanda Calabro (D, North Huntingdon, Pa.) for playing time in the defense.
Plowman and Kelly will most likely play with Brittney Miller (M, Slippery Rock, Pa.) in the midfield. Junior Alissa Falcone (M, Murrysville, Pa.), sophomores Taylor Morsillo (M, Pittsburgh, Pa.), Diana Harrison (M, Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Kate Shemak (M, Murrysville, Pa.), and freshmen Elizabeth Webb (M, Johnstown, Pa.) and Stephanie Oaks (M, Summerhill, Pa.). Seitz and Thompson will also see some work in the midfield line
The forward line will be anchored by Zack, with Burnsworth and Lauren Penn (F, Plum, Pa.) to add experience in the attack. Bringing quickness and speed to the front line will be freshmen Lindsey Roessler (F, Chalfont, Pa.), Stephanie Szczur (F, Johnstown, Pa.) and Gena Pentz (F, Johnstown, Pa.).
With five senior leaders and a mix of new and returning players, Coach Herlinger and his Lady Cats could see the program turn the corner this year and in the years to come.