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Women’s soccer kicks off fall sports season

August 13, 2011

Today marks EMU’s first athletic contest of the fall. Sure, it’s just an exhibition, but it’s still worth noting, and if the rain holds off, worth going. The Michigan State Spartans, who shut out the Eagles 4-0 last September in East Lansing, return the trip for a 5 pm game today at Scicluna Field, north of Rynearson Stadium.

EMU has a very young soccer team this year, with 4 seniors, 1 junior, 6 sophomores, and 10 freshmen. The most obvious holes to fill are the loss of goalie Monique Budani, who was MAC Defensive Player of the Year last fall, and forward Paige Sheridan, who was also All-MAC first team. Looking over the roster, the goalie will probably be sophomore Rachel Rye or freshman Anna Vess. Forward Stephanie Clarke had an outstanding freshman year in 2010 — her 14 points in MAC play ranked third in the conference — and she’ll need to lead an offense in which true freshmen are likely to see significant playing time.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kenneth Barna permalink
    August 15, 2011 12:30 pm

    Not being a soccer fan, and I did not watch the game, it sounds like the women accounted themselves well. This is, after reading accounts of the game, under Eastern’s Athletic website. It does seem, as if the Eastern women were abit outplayed, since MSU had a three to one shot advantage, but they only lost 1-0. So, it looks like they were in the game.

    • August 15, 2011 12:39 pm

      On Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 12:30 PM, comment-reply@wordpress.com

    • August 15, 2011 1:10 pm

      Rye started at goalie, with Vess subbed in midway through the second half, suggesting that Rye is the presumptive starting goalie.

      Comparing it to the (non-exhibition) game at Michigan State last year, the Spartans about took the same number of shots, but EMU had a better defensive effort. Last year, of 30 shots, 21 were on goal with Budani recording 17 saves and letting 4 through; this year, of 29 shots, 5 were on goal, with Rye and Vess combining for 4 saves and Rye letting one through. As for EMU offense, last year they took 6 shots with 3 on goal (all saved), while this year they took 9 shots with 3 on goal (all saved).

      The Eagles’ offense struggled last year, being held to zero or one points in 16 of their 21 games, and going scoreless in their last three games, and this doesn’t leave me optimistic for 2011. It’s always dangerous to judge too much from exhibition games, as Detroit Lions fans should know, so we’ll get a better sense after they have a few regular season contests out of the way.

  2. dj DJ permalink
    August 17, 2011 8:46 am

    EMU’s defense looked strong. The freshman defender (Emily Dzik) played very solid with quite a few nice blocks, and the upper class defenders have always been good. The problem does not seem to be their defense, but rather the offense needs to find a way to score or at least get decent shots. In general I thought the freshmen looked stronger than the new players have looked the past few years, perhaps in better condition too. As far as the goalies, I thought both looked solid. The goal that was given up was off a set play, it was in the far corner and most goalies would likely have missed it. The first save that the freshman keeper (Anna Vess) made was outstanding — it probably would have been a deflection for most goalies but she seems to have soft hands. I had heard that she was injured, but it looks like she is OK and has quick hands and feet, plus she is tall. I imagine that these 2 will share time like the 2 keepers did a few years ago, and that worked out well. Freshmen Angel Vultaggio, Bianca Rossi, and Marisa Kozikowski looked fast and strong, but really all of the rookies looked good. This is a young team, but as they grow together and gel with the older players, I think they’ll surprise a lot of teams this year. With a bit of patience, in a few years this group could be exceptional

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