UNCG kicks off 2007 regular-season against William & Mary
GREENSBORO, NC - The UNC Greensboro women’s soccer team kicks off the 2007 season Friday, Aug. 31, as it hosts the College of William & Mary. This will be the first regular-season matchup for both the Spartans and the Tribe. Game time is set for 7 pm at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
Head coach Eddie Radwanski and the Spartans are coming off a 13-8-2 overall, 9-0-1 SoCon season record in 2006 and a Southern Conference Championship. Not only was UNCG the only team to go undefeated in conference play, but the team also set new school records in both consecutive wins (10) and unbeaten matches (14). In the SoCon, UNCG ended the season ranked first in points (79), goals (25), goals per game (2.50), assists (29), and goals against average (.59). The team is currently ranked 12th in the southeast region in the Soccer Buzz Preseason 2007 Poll.
Spartan fans will get their first look at the new recruits and will have a chance to reacquaint themselves with the team’s returning players as they play their first regular-season home game since defeating Elon 4-0 in the first round of the SoCon Tournament last year.
UNCG returns 14 players this year, including eight starters, from last year’s championship team. With the loss of 2006 Southern Conference Player of the Year, Southern Conference Tournament MVP, and two-time Soccer Buzz All-Region team selection (2005, 2006) Shannon Donovan and Deven Beachum, named to the 2006 All-Southern Conference Tournament team, 2006 All-Southern Conference, and 2006 Soccer Buzz All-Region, the Spartans will not only be looking to the 14 returnees, but also to the highly anticipated recruiting class to fill some big shoes.
Radwanski says that as a team, this season’s roster has more depth than ever before.
“By all means we are still a young team," he said. "Our returning players bring the experience factor having won the conference championship last season along with the opportunity to participate in the NCAA Tournament. This incoming class will have the opportunity to play some of the top teams in the nation. I feel really good about all the players. Each makes their own contributions to create a solid team foundation.”
Returning for the Spartans are All-Southern Conference Tournament selections, senior goalkeeper Katherine Ryan, sophomore defender/midfielder Leigh Riordon and senior defender Jamie Corti. Also back is senior midfielder Karla Davis, senior midfield/forward Jessica Patterson, and sophomore forward Kelly Attayek.
Last season Ryan, a second-team all-southern conference selection, collected 2092:09 minutes in the box, tallying 108 saves overall, a number one ranking in the conference with a .919 save percentage, and the top spot in both goals against average (.30) and shutouts (5). Riordon returns after starting 23 of 23 games played last season where she tallied seven shots and one assist. In 23 games, Corti amassed six shots and one assist.
Davis ended the season with two goals, nine assists, and 20 shots; she shares the number one conference spot in both assists and assists per game with former teammate Shannon Donovan. Attayek tallied seven goals and four assists in her 23 games and ranks third in the conference in goals and goals per game (6/.60 avg.). Patterson started 21 of 23 games and collected three goals.
Also returning is redshirt junior forward/midfielder Mary Kate Towne, juniors forward/midfielder Heather Deutschle, forward/midfielder Amanda Olson, midfield/defender Heather Mitrisin, and midfield/defender Carolin Feierabend, and sophomores midfield/defender Jen Bronson, and defender Lauren Lopez.
Making their debut on the Spartan women’s soccer team are goalkeeper Barrie Vogel, midfielder/defender Christina Karam, midfielder Jenn Partenheimer, forward/midfielder Kristin Player, midfielder Katie Evans, forward Katie Jordan, defender Carolyn Handy, defender Jen Rincon, and midfielder Katelynn Donovan.
The Spartans will battle one of their toughest schedules as they face nationally-ranked North Carolina (1), Wake Forest (22), and Tennessee (24) while still looking to hold on to their conference title.
“It’s another challenging season, but the challenge benefits us as a team,” Radwanski said.
Radwanski feels that playing such a high-quality schedule will not only help in the team’s development, but will guide them towards reaching team goals.
“Our main reason for such a difficult schedule is to prepare us for conference play. Nothing is ever gifted. Just because we won the conference championship last year doesn’t mean we don’t have to be prepared for this year.”
UNCG will play seven nonconference teams, including No. 1 North Carolina on Sept. 12th at home, before diving into conference play Sept. 27th against Wofford. For more information on UNCG women’s soccer and all other Spartan athletics, visit www.uncgspartans.com.
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