Tomorrow the women’s soccer squad will begin its 2002 season against SUNY Stony Brook at Stony Brook. The Red ended last season with a disappointing 4-8-3 record, despite having an improved squad from the year before. With an exciting group of new freshmen, however, this year should be very different from the last.
“We have improved quite a bit,” said the ladies’ coach, Berhane Andeberhan. “We have much more depth.”
Despite losses such as Julie DeMichele ’02 and Ellen Daly ’02 from the defense, Andeberhane’s rookie class is poised to rebuild in those positions, though.
With its new recruits, the Red seeks to fill many of the gaps that were evident in past years. Despite having a very skilled team last year, the booters often found themselves lacking the necessary size to win physical games. Freshman forward Shannon Fraser and back Phela Townsend, each standing at 5’7″, should be able to help out in this department.
“We have a few excellent freshmen this year,” Andeberhan said. “Shannon Fraser, [midfielder] Kara Ishikawa, and [midfielder] Alison Gombar should have a significant impact on our play, along with Phela Townsend on defense.”
The Red will also benefit from the addition of two transfer students to the team, junior Jo Galardy from Dartmouth and junior Sarah Greenberg from Stony Brook.
Cornell will be playing a team that has already been battle-tested this year.
The Seawolves are trying to rebound from their 0-2 start to the season. They began their season on Aug. 30 against Miami of Ohio, which saw Miami come back from a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 in overtime. They have since lost 3-0 to Eastern Michigan on Sept. 1.
Stonybrook was picked to finish sixth out the nine America East colleges in the preseason poll. It finished 6-11-2 overall in 2001, but adds six recruits.
Cornell will also rely on its returning leaders from last year. Senior captain Sarah Olsen, a second-team All-Ivy pick, will lead the midfield. Sophomore Katie Thomas will try to improve her impressive rookie year also. She was named an All-Ivy honorable mention.
Last year when Stonybrook came to East Hill, the match ended in a tie. This year, however, Andeberhan sees the outcome being very different.
“We were about evenly matched with them last year and we tied. This year, we hope to do a much better job,” he said.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini