Aug 21, 2014
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette women's soccer program, under the direction of ninth-year man Mick Statham, is set to open its 2014 campaign on Tuesday. The senior-laden group looks to improve upon a 5-10-2 record a year ago.
"Our expectations are higher this year with a group of eight seniors," Statham said. "Our goal, as every team's should be, is to make the playoffs and go from there. The freshmen coming in will hopefully help us with our depth, but our upperclassmen are a year more experienced and a year more developed, so we're hoping that puts us in a good place going into the season."
Below is a position-by-position breakdown of the 2014 edition of Lafayette women's soccer.
Sophomore Danielle Sedillo started all 17 games during her freshman campaign, allowing 26 goals and making 65 saves for a 1.51 goals-against average. Sedillo, expected to be the starter for game one, came up with a trio of six-save performances last season against Navy (9/28), Columbia (10/15), and American (10/19).
Additionally, freshman Kelly O'Brien has impressed the coaching staff in camp and will provide necessary depth at the position.
The Maroon and White return a bevy of experienced players to their back line from a year ago in senior captain Alex Reisinger, classmate Caroline Craver, junior Samantha Potoczak, sophomore Melissa Lynskey, junior Madison Murray, senior Catrina Yohay, and sophomore Julia Wescott.
Craver started every game for the Leopards' defense a year ago, while Reisinger contributed on the offensive end with a goal and an assist on the year. The defensive unit allowed 27 goals in 17 games, about 1.59 scores per contest. Freshman Olivia Heitz will be expected to contribute in her rookie season, while other newcomers Gabrielle Lassinger and Paige Thompson round out the defensive group.
Similar to the defenders, the midfield group also returns experience as sophomore Kaelin King, senior Alyssa Finelli, sophomore Joanna Scotti, senior Nicole Lee, classmate Kelly Boyce, sophomore Elizabeth Scoda, and juniors Kelly Chickering and Shannon Hartzell are charged with responsibilities on both ends of the field.
King was second on the team in scoring in 2013 with four goals and one assist for nine points, while Finelli added two goals and three assists for seven points last season and Hartzell has stood out in camp for her improvement during the offseason between her sophomore and junior years.
Rookie Rebekka Arnthorsdottir from Iceland joins the Leopards this season as the lone midfielder in the freshmen class. She is expected to contribute significant minutes in her initial campaign in the states and is adjusting well to the style of play in preseason practice sessions.
Finally, the attack group is led by senior captain Jaclyn Giordano, a Third-Team All-Patriot League selection from a year ago. Giordano led the Leopards in scoring with five goals and two assists for 12 points on the year, good enough for fourth in the league ranks with 0.71 points per game. Junior Allie Torru was also a force on the offensive side of the field with two goals and three assists for seven points last season.
Additionally, senior Laura Zito, Finelli, King, and freshman Reanna Leoni will compete for minutes up front as the Leopards try to reconcile their scoring woes.
"Offense has got to be more of a team effort," assistant coach Brian Herr added. "Jaclyn led us last season in scoring, but across the board, the team needs to create more chances and be more ruthless in front of net."
The Leopards open up their 2014 campaign on Tuesday with a trip to Jersey City, N.J. to take on Saint Peter's at 7 p.m. The home opener is set for Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. versus Binghamton and Patriot League play begins on Sept. 20 with the Maroon and White hosting Colgate at 7 p.m.