Returning their top three scorers for another season has fourth-year Head Coach Nicole Bonvouloir and the Frostburg State field hockey team looking to improve on last season’s 7-13 record.
Juniors Tawni Buck (Port Deposit, Md./Perryville) and Heidi Zook (Elverson, Pa./Twin Valley) and sophomore Amanda Griswold (Rockville, Md./Magruder) scored 21 of the team’s 37 goals last year.
"This is a strong core of players. I will be looking at them to score more this season," said Bonvouloir.
Buck, who started all 20 games last season, led the Bobcats with 10 goals and tied for the team lead with six assists.
"She will be playing more than just the forward position," says Bonvouloir. “Tawni’s versatility will allow her to play all over the field.”
Zook was third on the team with five goals and 12 points last year. Griswold, the only other returner to start all 20 games, had a solid freshman season tying for the team lead with six assists while finishing second on the squad with six goals.
“Heidi and Amanda will be responsible for setting up the team’s offense and executing plays,” stated Bonvouloir. “They mesh well since they have already played together for a year.”
The other returners up front are senior Becca Huber (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville), who will serve as the Bobcats’ captain, and sophomore Jenni Brygider (Locust Grove, Va./Orange County).
Last season, Huber aided her team with two goals and one assist. Brygider, who split her time between offense and defense last season, scored three goals and added two assists.
Adding to the team’s offense are five newcomers who will be playing the forward position. Freshman Samantha Riley (Bethesda, Md./Chevy Chase), who was a first-team all-state selection in high school, will be seeing a lot of time on the field.
“Riley has the sight, speed, stick work and rushing ability to be successful in her career,” says Bonvouloir.
Talia Warsaw (Ashton, Md./Sherwood), a sophomore who was on campus last year but did not play, brings speed and the ability to carry the ball up the wings for FSU.
Freshmen Brittney Blystone (Mohnton, Pa./Governor Mifflin), Susan Buckley (Frederick, Md./Frederick) and Jeanine Harrington (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) will also battle for playing time on the attack.
“It will be good to have the extra depth up front this season,” said Bonvouloir.
Another reason Bonvouloir is excited about the upcoming year is junior goalkeeper Kristin Cousin (Edgewater, Md./South River). Cousin earned first-team regional All-America honors after starting 18 games and stopping a career-high 144 shots last season. She brings good sight, aggressiveness and communication to the field.
“Kristin is a smart player who is good at sighting the ball and stopping it,” added Bonvouloir.
Backing up Cousin will be sophomore Holly Mariano (Millersville, Md./Old Mill), who saw action in one game last season, and freshman Rachael Babchuk (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis).
Helping to protect the net will be a defensive unit headed by junior Bissy Armstrong (Port Deposit, Md./Perryville). Armstrong started 18 games and had a team-high six defensive saves in 2003.
“Bissy will be relied on for her experience in the back,” said Bonvouloir.
Adding to defense’s experience will be sophomore Morgan Whalen (Milford, Del./Milford). Whalen started three of the 18 games in which she played and should see more time this season.
Leading the pack of newcomers on defense are freshmen Carly Cross (Odenton, Md./Arundel) and Margaret Trulove (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck).
Cross has speed and endurance, while Trulove has good defensive skills and exceptional ball control.
Also looking to compete for time are senior Candi Burkhardt (Baltimore, Md./Parkville), who played soccer last fall for FSU, and freshmen Mary McLemore (Baltimore, Md./Eastern), Allison MacKay (Stafford Va./Colonial Forge), and Amanda Runion (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown).
Junior Kim Smith (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) will be back in the midfield where she started in 15 games and scored two goals last year.
Freshmen Brittany Fisher (Easton, Md./Gunston Day), Kelly Massino (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook), Someya Radbod (Mt. Airy, Md./Century), Brittany Russell (Washington, NJ/Warren Hills), Holly Secary (Stevensville, Md./Kent Island) and Whitney Young (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) will help Smith patrol the middle of the field.
This group of 28 players is the biggest squad Bonvouloir has coached since she has been with the Bobcats. Only 10 of them have played on the collegiate level, but this should not pose a problem when it is game time.
“With more than half of the team being new, I don’t think they will have a tough time adjusting. Even though they are young, they have experience,” says Bonvouloir.
This season the Bobcats have a competitive schedule with 10 games being played at home and 10 on the road.
Salisbury, last year’s Division III national champions, highlights this season’s slate along with regional powers McDaniel, Virginia Wesleyan and Juniata.
“Our schedule is tough, but I think that we can handle it.”
The Bobcats will find out when they open the season September 4 at home against Randolph-Macon at 3 p.m.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303