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Women's Soccer Looking for Fifth Straight AMCC Title
09/01/2005

FROSTBURG, MD — Despite losing seven seniors from last season, including all-time leading scorer Karen Kotofski, Frostburg State's women's soccer team shows no sign of slowing down. The Bobcats hope to make this season their fifth straight as Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference champions. Last season, FSU advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history, and the team has similar expectations this fall.

"We're going to be fine," said fourth-year head coach Brian Parker. "The lack of depth that we have this year is my only concern."

FSU ended the 2004 season ranked 86th out of 392 Division III schools according to soccerratings.com and was ninth in the NSCAA Great Lakes Regional Poll.

The top returner this year is junior forward Danielle Carter (Rockville, Md./Rockville). Carter enjoyed a successful sophomore season having finished second on the team with 19 goals and 45 points and earning a slot on the All-AMCC first team. She etched her name in the FSU record books by netting three hat-tricks last season and breaking the single-season school record with seven multi-goal scoring games. Carter's speed and footwork will help her get through opponents and take her to the net.

"Carter is going to be even better this year," says Parker. "She is smarter and stronger and can score in a variety of ways."

Vying for time at the forward position will be senior Shera Rowan (Frostburg, Md./Bishop Walsh) and junior Lindsay Hoffman (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson).

Rowan will be a significant contributor to the team again in 2005. She saw action in 16 games last year and had four goals and an assist.

Hoffman, who played the last two years at Division I East Tennessee State University, will add speed and energy to the Bobcat roster. At ETSU, she scored three goals and added one assist as a freshman and appeared in 13 games with one start as a sophomore.

"Lindsay will have an immediate impact," said Parker. "We're happy she's decided to continue her playing career here at FSU."

In the midfield position, there is a lot of talent battling to play. Senior Jodie Gittleson (Rockville, Md./Wootton) returns after starting in every game last season. She added 11 goals and 25 points to place third on the team. Gittleson was named to the All-AMCC first team.

Sophomore Jen Naylor (Riva, Md./St. Mary's) started all but one game last season and earned second-team All-AMCC honors after netting three goals and adding an assist. She will contribute significantly to the Bobcat midfield again this year. Also returning to the midfield is senior Micaela Karinshak (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun County). She saw action in 12 games a year ago, scoring two goals and adding three assists.

Sophomore Anita Wickerham (Morgantown, Pa./Twin Valley) moves to the midfield after playing 11 games as a defender last season. She netted a goal and added an assist in her debut season.

Freshman Ali Keeney (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown) will also look to contribute minutes in the midfield.

Parker will look to seniors Beth Hlebasko (New Market, Md./Linganore) and Teri Galt (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) to anchor the Bobcat defense again. Both earned second-team All-AMCC honors last year after FSU allowed just 17 goals, posted a league-leading 0.67 goals against average and tied a school record with 10 shutouts.

Hlebasko started every game last year and tied for the team lead with 12 assists while finding the net twice. She enters her final season tied for first on the all-time FSU chart with 26 career assists.

Galt started in 16 of the 19 games in which she appeared a year ago and recorded one assist.

Sophomore Sarah Huber (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) and freshmen Jackie Donovan (Hollidaysburg, Md./Hollidaysburg Area), Tori Walter (Frederick, Md./Frederick), Stephanie Pereira (Montgomery Village, Md./Watkins Mill) and Tricia Richardson (Gibson Island, Md./St. Mary's) add depth and will all be competing to see some time in the backfield.

Sophomore Molly Whyte (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) moves into the starting goalkeeper role after the graduation of Kelly Jones, who went 10-3-2 with a 0.83 goals against average and four shutouts last season. As a freshman, Whyte went 1-0-1 with nine saves and no goals allowed in 110 minutes of action.

The Bobcats are once again the preseason favorites to win the AMCC championship according to a vote among the league's coaches. FSU will be challenged by Penn State Behrend and Pitt-Greensburg, who were picked to finish second and third, respectively.

To prepare his squad for another league title defense, Parker has scheduled another tough non-conference slate that includes regional powers Allegheny (Pa.), Carnegie Mellon and Johns Hopkins. Last year, FSU tied both Allegheny (0-0) and Johns Hopkins (2-2) and fell to Carnegie Mellon (2-0).

"This is probably the toughest overall schedule we've played here at FSU," said Parker. "Every stage of the season should prepare you for the next one, so I think we'll be ready in November for another run at the conference title."

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-4371
Fax: 301-687-4780
E-mail: sportsinfo@frostburg.edu