September 7, 2007

Women's Soccer Seeks First Win

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The women’s soccer team will host Hartford at Berman Field tonight at 6 p.m. in its home opener. The squad will then travel to St. Bonaventure, N.Y., to take on St. Bonaventure for a Sunday afternoon tilt. The Red (0-2) looks to bounce back from a rough start to the year, with consecutive road losses to Hofstra and St. John’s.
Tonight’s contest will mark head coach Danielle LaRoche’s first home game. The new coaching staff has used this week of practice to tinker with the starting lineup. They made some tactical adjustments, and continue to work on revamping the defensive scheme. Coach LaRoche is extremely happy with how the team has trained and is looking forward to earning her first win as a head coach.
“Practice has been intense,” LaRoche said. “The coaching staff has been very intense, and I think the players have responded to it. The girls are ready and excited to play at home.”
The Hartford game will be a real test for the women, as the Hawks come into the game ranked No. 10 in the Northeast region, according to Soccer Buzz magazine. The Hawks were picked to finish second in the America East Conference this season after winning the league last year and competing in the NCAA tournament for the 13th time in school history.
The Hawks, like the Red, played its first two games this past weekend. Hartford tied both Rider and Ivy squad Harvard in the Adidas/Hartford Fall Classic, behind All-Tournament team performances by forwards senior Megan Riemer and freshman Michelle Orelli. The Red will have its hands full with them, as each notched a goal and an assist in the team’s first two games. Riemer is also the team’s returning leading scorer and reigning America East Striker of the Year.
However, tonight against Hartford, the Red will be playing at Berman Field. LaRoche believes this will definitely help the squad.
“We’ll be back on grass for the first time this year, in our house, with our fans, and hopefully playing our game,” she said.
The Red will have to travel, though, for its matchup at St. Bonaventure (1-0-1). The Bonnies have not yet given up a goal, playing two games at the Cleveland State Fall Classic. Anchored by a freshman class that was ranked No. 14 in the Northeast region, the Bonnies blanked Cleveland State last weekend, 3-0, followed by a scoreless tie with Ohio University.
Despite starting four seniors, two sophomores, and five freshmen, the Bonnies have shown no signs of its youth. Freshmen goalkeepers Amanda Prestigiacomo and Nicole Markert, who split the netminding responsibilities, turned away 14 shots between the two games for the clean sheets. The Red will also have to deal with freshmen Marilyn Wargo, Jamie Dentino, and Courtney Bosse, who all tallied points in the Bonnies’ first two games.