Immediate Release: August 25, 2010
Contact: John Hartrick (email@example.com)
BU women's soccer aiming high as season opens
America East runnersup return strong nucleus
N.Y. -- After her young 2009 team won six of eight league games
and advanced to the America East title game to the surprise of
many, third-year coach Sarah McClellan
hopes to build off that momentum as her 2010 edition opens play.
Her 09 squad exceeded expectations and now McClellan hopes
to reap further rewards of having a freshman class play such
a pivotal role. That 9-win runner-up team started four freshmen
and had seven underclassmen in the starting lineup.
Last season was a success overall, considering the youth
we had and how much we depended on our younger players,
McClellan said. We expect a lot more this season. We are
better, more experienced, deeper, and more unified, so I dont
think we would feel satisfied with a repeat of last years
performances. We have to be better.
Aiding the cause, McClellan seems to have surpassed her high
standard of recruiting with yet another impact class. Nine newcomers
will hit the field this fall and all are capable of logging heavy
minutes. Of BUs 28 roster members, 20 are underclassmen,
meaning McClellan has positioned the Bearcats perfectly for an
extended run at the America East crown.
Our newcomers have meshed seamlessly with our returners
and that speaks very highly of our returners to promote such
a strong team concept, McClellan said. :We recruit
players who can compete at a high level and add to our returners;
this years group is no exception.
Veteran Iman a strong presence in goal
After splitting duties last season, senior Erin
Iman will anchor the team from between the pipes for her
final collegiate season. Iman has played in 35 collegiate games
and her steady leadership will be pivotal to the teams
She held a 1.39 goals against average in 09, sharing eight
Erin is a competitor with the necessary experience and
understanding of the college game, McClellan said. We
will count on her to orchestrate and communicate with our back
line as well as dominate her goalbox.
Freshmen Carrie Martin and Stephanie
Speirs will provide support as they each begin promising
collegiate careers. Martin was a two-time all-area keeper in
Cincinnati, Ohio, and is fresh from a successful summer season
in the WPSL. Speirs is a solid shot-stopper.
Defense strong and steady in the back
Three starters return on the back line, which held opponents
to just over one goal a game (1.08) with eight shutouts last
fall. Senior wingback Stefani Knopick
rejoins the unit with an array of strong defenders. The physical
5-foot-8 defender can handle 1-on-1 duties and also push forward
on the attack from the left. She netted two goals with two assists
last fall and then gained further experience in the WPSL over
We will count on Stef to expand her leadership and vocal
role in the back, McClellan said. We are also working
on fine tuning some of her habits to get her to the next level.
Returning to help anchor the unit are sophomore Alyssa
Staubitz and junior Jennifer Abbate
both with starting experience. Staubitz started all 18
games at center back as a freshman and was remarkably consistent.
Abbate started 16 games as a freshman before an injury cut short
her sophomore season after four games.
Speedy sophomore Meghan Campbell
made great strides in 09, particularly in spring training,
and will be a significant congtributor on the outside. She played
in 16 games.
Others in the mix in back include sophomore Mollie
Bold, who has transitioned from forward to wing back and
much-improved sophomore Maureen DeAngles,
who has impressed the coaching staff with her agility and tactical
Senior captain Leora Kenney, sophomores
Amanda Rittmeier and Taylor
McCavanagh, junior transfer Keri
Iheagwara and freshman Liz Cusato
give McClellan plenty of options. Cusato enjoyed a standout scholastic
career at Webster Thomas High.
Kenney is a veteran of the program and her leadership, on and
off the field, has drawn high praise from the staff.
Midfielding unit is strong, deep
Junior Mary DeWitte and sophomore
Emily Pape highlight this group, which
despite the graduation of three-time all-region standout Amanda
Casares and the absence of injured tri-captain Brittany
Walsh, is a strong and very deep unit.
We lost quite a bit of talent in our graduating seniors
but of course we have prepared the way for our returners to step
up their game and take the spotlight along with our talented
newcomers; they are all ready and willing to be the best midfield
we have ever produced, McClellan said. I dont
think we will miss a beat as we continue to progress in our expectations
DeWitte played 17 games in the middle and capped her steady sophomore
season with America East All-Championship honors.
Mary is looking great and came in fitter than most professional
players, McClellan said.
Pape produced an outstanding freshman season with a team-high
four goals and America East All-Rookie accolades. She rejoins
the midfield after spending some time up front in 09 and
will also wear the captains band.
Junior Taylor Kucharski has lifted
the level of her play and should return to the form of her freshman
season, when she started 16 games.
TK does a great job of leading in the midfield, McClellan
said. Shes very even keeled, so she helps keep our
unit intact throughout games.
Impressive freshmen Kaitlin Cook, Emma Kurth and Conor
OBrien will see plenty of minutes as each is athletic,
competitive and coachable.
The highly-decorated Cook was a two-time all-state midfielder
for nearby Maine-Endwell High, an elite scholastic program that
has produced four current Bearcats. Cook pumped in 60 goals with
42 assists during her high school career.
Kaitlyn is very fit and capable of covering ground in the
midfield, McClellan said. I expect her to develop
into a complete collegiate player quickly with her exceptional
workrate and competitiveness.
Talented strikers will boost scoring rate
This will be a talented, competitive group with up to seven players
vying for time. After a young unit was held scoreless during
the first four games of 2009, McClellan is counting on this years
group to strike at a rapid pace.
This forward group is exciting to watch, McClellan
said. Every single player will produce for us and put the
ball in the back of the net. The desire to score is extremely
high and we have the urgency and technical ability to make it
Sophomore Jamie Holliday netted four
goals from the right side in a solid freshman season and McClellan
believes her game will only improve as she takes on more initiative
After starting just three games in 09, junior AnnMarie
Rizzi has vastly improved her game and will be an attacking
threat from the middle thanks to unpredictable and dangerous
work on the ball.
Rizzi looks great out there, McClellan said. She
is going to create all kinds of havoc for opponents this year.
Sophomores Kerry Sullivan and Candice Rowland look to grow after earning
solid playing time in their freshman seasons. Sullivan is a confident
central striker with a strong, physical presence and Rowland
is a difficult defensive matchup with her speed and ball skills.
Left-footed sophomore Lisa Campbell
rejoins the attacking unit. She started 17 games as a freshman
and netted the game-winner against Albany.
Newcomer Sarah Furminger and freshman
Kaitlyn Martin round out the capable
group. Furminger is a former junior college All-American and
local recruit from Vestal with speed and athleticism. Martin
is an exciting player who creates shots with her speed and tenacity.
She was a second-team all-state striker who netted 51 career
goals and led Bethlehem High to a remarkable 70-4-7 record during
Eight home games highlight schedule
The 17-game schedule begins with back-to-back road games in late
August August 27 at Fairfield ant August 29 at Sacred
The opener at Fairfield is the first of nine non-conference games
before BU begins conference play in late September. The Stags
won the MAAC title in 2008 and placed third last fall. After
the Sacred Heart match on August 29, BU returns home to face
Delaware State (Sept. 3) and Delaware (Sept. 5) in a three-day
span at the Bearcats Sports Complex. It will be the first-ever
matchup against the Hornets, who play out of the Great West Conference.
The Bearcats will then look to reverse a 3-0 setback they suffered
at CAA-member Delaware in the 09 season opener.
The team will then face a challenge of away games at Patriot
League power Bucknell (Sept. 8) and BIG EAST member Syracuse
(Sept. 12). The Bison won 10 games last fall and placed second
in the Patriot while the Orange have won five of seven meetings
with the Bearcats in the all-time series.
Binghamton then plays two of its final three non-conference games
at home beginning with a Sept. 15 enounter with top-tier MAAC
member Iona. The Bearcats will face Ivy League Cornell on Sept.
22 with a first-ever game against BIG EAST member Seton Hall
sandwiched in-between (Sept. 20).
The eight-game America East slate begins with a home match against
Maine on Sept. 26. A home showdown with reigning champion Boston
University looms five games later on October 17. The Terriers
defeated the Bearcats 4-0 for the 09 conference championship.
This is an exciting schedule and is filled with tough opponents,
McClellan said. Our squad will have to be prepared to perform
day-in and day-out consistently at the highest of levels. Our
non-conference matches will certainly get us ready for the conference
Potent Bearcats capable of big season
America East coaches have picked Binghamton to finish third in
the nine-team conference, but McClellan has her eyes a few notches
When I look at our level of talent and depth at each position,
I dont see any holes, she said. It will be
difficult for our opponents to break us down. We cant wait
to play and we will continue to focus on our process of preparation
results will be the by-product of our teams hard work,
focus, and talent.
Gaining the respect of the league has proven to be more difficult
than than gaining victories in the standings. The Bearcats were
afforded just one conference all-star last season (Casares)
the fewest of any playoff team. That total team approach has
carried the Bearcats into the conference semifinals three straight
years, however, and McClellan anticipates a similar youth movement
sparking her team again.
Last years freshmen class did a great job providing
an immediate impact on the field, but that is a lot to ask from
freshmen, she said. Now those players possess a vast
amount of experience coming in as sophomores and can be even
better as we continue to develop as a team. This years
freshmen class also has quite a bit of talent, but I think will
feel less pressure than last years freshmen because we
have so much more depth at each position.
Being in the America East final last season was critical
for our returners, McClellan added. They now know
how to get there and have the experience
and will have
a lot more confidence in the next final to get after it. This
team definitely has what it takes to surpass last year.
If the 20 underclassmen can make a smooth and rapid transition
to the college game, expect the Bearcats to be in the mix for
yet another high regular-season finish and deep postseason run.
McClellan is excited for the ride.
We want to showcase what this group of players is all about
and just how far we can go with the amazing talent and focus