The 2014 women's soccer season will be "new" in many ways. There is a new coaching staff in head coach Kerry Smith, assistant coach Julia Binnicker and eight new players in the fold for the Shorewomen this fall that will look to help Shorewomen Soccer build a foundation of a Centennial Conference contender in the fall.
The fifth head coach in the program's history, coach Smith's inaugural squad with the Shorewomen will be very young this season with seven freshman, 10 sophomores, two juniors and four seniors for a total of 23 players, which is seven more than the 2013 squad.
Coach Smith said the squad is embracing the "new era" of Shorewomen Soccer. "The entire team is excited to have a fresh start and it shows in their enthusiasm and energy."
The senior class on the team this season consists of forward Marisa Atkins (Fenwick Island, Del./Indian River), back Taylor Matteson (Cinnaminson, N.J./Cinnaminson), goalkeeper Rebecca Potochney (Newark, Del./Newark) and forward Suzanne Patinella (Fallston, Md./Maryvale Prep). Patinella tied for the team lead in goals (3) and points (6) a season ago and notched two game-winning tallies. Matteson was part of a defensive unit to pitched five shutouts a season ago. Atkins returns for missing all of 2013 due to injury and Potochney is back after not playing in 2013 due to academic commitments. Atkins had a pair of assists in 2012 and Potochney tallied four shutouts and 75 saves with a 1.87 goals against average two seasons ago.
Representing the juniors for Washington will be midfielder/back Bailey Howard (Laurel, Md./Reservoir) and midfielder Caitlin Byrnes (Crofton, Md./South River). Howard had a pair of assists to lead the team in 2013, while Byrnes started in all 18 matches last fall.
The sophomores on the Shorewomen are goalkeeper Melissa Barry (Sparta, N.J./Sparta), midfielder Katrina Beltran (La Verne, Calif./Bonita), back Paige Cahoon (Port Murray, N.J./Warren Hills), midfielder Katie Doyle (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake), midfielder Phoebe Ingersoll (Philadelphia, Pa./William Penn Charter School), midfielder Julia Jakus (Cedar City, Utah/Cedar City), midfielder/back Kelsey McCurdy (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville), forward Ashley Shortt (Frederick, Md./Walkersville), midfielder Erin Smedley (Highland, Md./River Hill) and midfielder Laura Tocci (New Hope, Pa./New Hope-Solebury).
Barry set the WC record for shutouts in a season with five in 2013 and had a 1.78 goals against average with a .746 save percentage while saving 97 shots. Cahoon and McCurdy were part of a defensive unit that tallied five whitewashings a year ago. Tocci had a goal and a helper, while Jakus and Smedley had one assist each as freshmen.
The freshmen on the squad will be back/midfielder Breanna Caruso (Cape May Court House, N.J./Middle Township), forward/midfielder Maribeth Harrington (Silver Spring, Md./Academy of the Holy Cross), forward/midfielder Hayley Hartman (Sykesville, Md./Liberty), back/midfielder Sydney Rossetti (Bangor, Pa./Bangor Area), midfielder/forward Emani Silva (Odenton, Md./Arundel), back/midfielder Taylor Stofko (Churchville, Md./Bel Air) and back/midfielder Lexi Young (Hardwick, N.J./North Warren Regional).
The squad will have four captains this fall and they will be Atkins, Howard, Matteson and Patinella.
Coach Smith said that with the support and contributions of the rest of the athletic department, the team has prospered despite the fact that its regular home field is currently offline due to damage to the Field Turf.
"Their ability to adapt and deal with changes on the fly has been very impressive," says the first-year mentor. "They have been working incredibly hard this preseason and have the potential to change the direction of this program."
The Shorewomen will open at home for the second straight year on August 31 when they entertain Gwynedd Mercy at 2:00 p.m. Washington will play its first road match on September 3 at Cabrini with kickoff a 4:00 p.m.
In addition to Gwynedd Mercy and Cabrini, coach Smith's side will play five more non-conference matches, three at home against Penn State-Harrisburg, Rutgers-Camden and Delaware Valley and two on the road, at Widener and Elizabethtown.
In the Centennial Conference, Washington will host Johns Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Franklin & Marshall, Haverford and Swarthmore and will visit Gettysburg, Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Ursinus and McDaniel. The conference opener is September 20 at 4:00 p.m. versus defending Centennial champion Johns Hopkins.