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Women's Soccer Looking to Four-Peat as AMCC Champs in 2004
08/27/2004

Experience will once again lead the Frostburg State University women's soccer team in 2004.

Fourteen players, including six seniors, return from a 2003 team that went 16-5, set a school record with 12 consecutive wins, captured both the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference regular-season and tournament championships and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

The Bobcats will look to continue their success by winning a fourth straight AMCC crown while defending their first-ever regular-season conference title.

Frostburg State is the AMCC preseason favorite for the second straight year and also enters the year ranked 93rd out of 389 Division III programs according to soccerratings.com, its highest preseason ranking ever.

“Dealing with pressure will certainly be a primary challenge for us this year,” said third-year head coach Brian Parker.

“With the winner of our conference tournament receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, the ability to stay focused throughout the entire season is crucial.”

The Bobcats return their top two scorers in senior Karen Kotofski (Glen Burnie, Md./Northeast) and sophomore Danielle Carter (Rockville, Md./Rockville).

The two were the second-highest goal-scoring duo in the AMCC last season, combining for 39 goals and accounting for 63 percent of FSU’s scoring.

Kotofski, the AMCC Preseason Player of the Year for the second straight year, is coming off a stellar 2003 campaign in which she set FSU single-season records with 24 goals and 53 points.

She ranked 14th in the nation in goals per game (1.2) and 23rd in points per game (2.65).

Kotofski was named the AMCC Player of the Year, was selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division III Great Lakes Region first team and also earned Verizon/CoSida Academic All-District II second-team honors.

She enters her final season as FSU’s all-time leader in both goals (62) and points (138).

Carter looks to build off her impressive freshman season of a year ago when she scored 15 goals and assisted on another to earn AMCC Newcomer of the Year honors.

She is a speedster who uses her solid technical ability and great touch to confuse opposing defenses.

Parker and the Bobcats will be seeking a third scoring threat at the striker position to help lessen the load on Kotofski and Carter.

Junior Shera Rowan (Frostburg, Md./Bishop Walsh) emerges as the front runner for the available minutes.

She is a fantastic athlete with a natural ability to manufacture plays. In 15 games last season, she scored three goals while dishing out two assists.

Freshman Jen Naylor (Riva, Md./St. Mary’s) has had an outstanding preseason and will see minutes up front or in the midfield.

While the Bobcats should have another potent offense, they will have to overcome the loss of four-year starting goalkeeper Stephanie Zych to graduation.

A three-time All-AMCC selection, Zych takes with her a school-record 48 career wins and a stingy 1.54 goals against average. She also holds school marks for shutouts (19) and saves (443).

The leading candidates are junior Kelly Jones (Woodbine, Md./Glenelg), sophomore Meredith Remus (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) and freshman Molly Whyte (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge).

Jones owns the most experience of the group, playing a total of 46 minutes over two games for the Bobcats in 2002. She sat out last season to allow for one more year of eligibility.

Remus is a transfer from West Virginia University where she played keeper for one year on the junior varsity team. In high school, she helped lead Bel Air to the state finals and earned All-Harford County honors.

Whyte brings impressive prep credentials to Frostburg State. As a senior, she guided her team to an undefeated season and the New Jersey Group Three state championship.

She holds the state and school record for shutouts in a career (65) as well as the school record for shutouts in a season (18 last year).

All three keepers have looked strong in the preseason and could all get playing time. It’s the most competitive this position has been at FSU in many years.

The Bobcats return four starters, including two who started every game in 2003, to a defense that allowed only 28 goals in 21 games as FSU posted a 1.32 goals against average.

The backfield will be led by junior Beth Hlebasko (New Market, Md./Linganore), who started all 21 games last fall and led the team with 13 assists.

She has an accurate, strong foot that allows her to take every corner and free kick, and she has the ability to find scoring opportunities from anywhere on the field.

Senior Lynnea Finch (Owings Mill, Md./Franklin), one of the top overall athletes on the team, was one of three Bobcats to start all 21 games in 2003.

She is a tough, scrappy player who often draws the tough cover assignments.

Senior Laurie Reinholt (Middletown, Del./Glasgow)and junior Teri Galt (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) will provide experience in the other two defensive spots. Reinholt played in 20 games with 14 starts while Galt started 19 games.

Junior Clair Duhigg (Mt. Airy, Md./South Carroll), who was limited to 13 games due to injury in 2003 will compete for minutes in the backfield.

Freshmen Sarah Huber (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) and Anita Wickerham (Morgantown, Pa./Twin Valley) will add depth to a veteran defensive unit. Both can provide support in the midfield as well.

Juniors Erin Carraghan (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) and Jodie Gittleson (Rockville, Md./Wootton) will anchor an experienced midfield. They complement each other’s games and possess technical, possession-style ability.

Carraghan had two goals and three assists last season, while Gittleson found the net twice.

Seniors Aimee Sprague (Yarmouth, Mass./Yarmouth) and Becky Rambo (Freeland, Md./Hereford) are solid and consistent performers who will anchor the midfield flanks.

Sprague scored three goals and assisted on another in 2003, while Rambo had four goals, including the game-winner in FSU’s 3-2 win over Westminster in the NCAA Tournament.

Senior Alyse Reed (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) and junior Micaela Karinshak (Leesburg, Va./Loudoun County) are veteran midfielders who will see significant minutes as well this year.

Reed played in 19 games last season, while Karinshak appeared in 17 contests. Both recorded one assist on the year.

“I think we’re all excited about this season,” said Parker. “We have talent and experience, and our fitness during the preseason has been good."

"Our only concern is depth. If we’re healthy come postseason, we could do something very special with this group.”

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