Trinity Women's Soccer Hosts Hamilton In 2013 Season Opener Saturday
Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity women's soccer team, under the direction of Head Coach Michael Smith (17th Season), is poised for a return to the post-season in 2013 after a two-year hiatus thanks to the return 16 players from a year ago. Victims of five one-goal losses that contributed to a 5-8-1 record last fall while fielding a squad that included 11 freshmen and five sophomores, the still-young Bantams believe last year's experience will reverse those results this autumn. Senior back Kristen Elia (Erie, Pa), junior midfielder Elisa Dolan (Bethesda, Md.), and junior back McKenzie Jones (Wayland, Mass.) will lead the Bantams as captains, and the Bantams begin the year at home against New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rival Hamilton on Saturday, September 7 at 11 a.m.
"Our fitness and overall strength is better than a year ago, which is a testament to how hard these players have worked in the off-season," said Smith. "We are young again, but our experience in spite of that will allow us to maintain possession longer and be more creative offensively."
Trinity should be potent offensively, as five players who scored three or more times last fall return to the squad. 2012 NESCAC Rookie of the Year Abbey Lake (Westport, Conn.) led the league in scoring a year ago with 20 points (1.67 per game) on nine goals and two assists from one forward spot, and classmate Alexa Menard (Wallingford, Conn.) emerged as a solid forward with four goals and four assists in her first season. Junior forward Karyn Barrett (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) added three goals and one assist in 2012, and rookie Andi Nicholson (Grafton, Mass.) will contribute immediately up front as well.
Dolan anchors the midfield, having tallied four goals and a team-high six assists last fall, and fellow junior Natalie Salmon (Yarmouth, Maine) is steady both in the midfield and as a defender. Exciting first-year midfielders Kendra Lena (Madison, Conn.) and Laura Nee (Duxbury, Mass.) have earned starting roles in pre-season with their poise, decision-making and passing skills. Nee, sophomore Abby Siebert (Melrose, Mass.) and freshman Nicole Stauffer (Cheshire, Conn.) will each see playing time at both midfield and at forward this season.
Jones and sophomores Maggie Crowe (Lowell, Mass.) and Julia Leahy (Hingham, Mass.) anchor the defense, and the trio will share the back with rookie Sheena Landy (Durham, Conn.) beginning with the opening game. Elia, sophomore Kelsey Thomas (Stonington, Conn.) and the expected return from injury by sophomore Caroline Eicher (Pelham Manor, N.Y.) bolster a deep backfield that looks like a strength for the Bantams. Crowe, Leahy, and Thomas, who totaled four goals and two assists while splitting time between forward and defense in her rookie campaign, give Trinity three offensive-minded players in the back with the ability to start the offense and score the ball. Sophomore goalkeeper Monica DiFiori (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) is solid in her second season as a starter, and will be backed up by first-year players Maggie Nigro (Reading, Mass.) and Gianna Tondini (Richmond, Va.). DiFiori had 79 saves and a 1.55 GAA with two shutouts while playing every minute of her freshman season.