To those outside the program, the numbers surrounding the 2001 Frostburg State University women’s soccer team might look rather intimidating. Freshmen and sophomores compose 16 of the 20 roster spots, the regular-season schedule features 13 out of 20 games on the road and the Bobcats play six contests in the first nine days of the season.
Despite those imposing facts, third-year Head Coach Carrie Lysik is very confident about the upcoming season.
"We have by far the most talent on the team since I’ve been here," said Lysik, who has guided the Bobcats to back-to-back 11-win seasons and consecutive appearances in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship match. "We really have a lot of players who are very versatile and can play almost anywhere on the field."
Lysik will look to senior tri-captains Amy Foote (Baltimore, Md./Patapsco), twin sister Danielle Foote (Baltimore, Md./Patapsco) and senior Tanya Dudrow (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) to provide offensive spark and leadership to such a young squad.
Amy Foote returns as the left attacking wing after notching a team-high 15 goals to go along with six assists for 36 points in 2000. A three-time first-team All-AMCC selection, Foote enters her final season with 31 career goals, 12 shy of Erin Hawley’s career record of 43 tallies set in 1997.
"Amy’s looking for a good year – not just for herself but for the team," Lysik said. "I’m very proud of how hard she’s worked off the field to get healthy as well as in the classroom last spring and this past summer."
Danielle Foote, a first-team All-AMCC selection last season, returns in the right side of the midfield after starting all 14 games in which she appeared in 2000.
She posted four goals and four assists (both career highs) despite battling through nagging injuries, and her strong service balls will again make her a dangerous threat.
Dudrow, who played for cross-state rival Salisbury as a freshman three years ago, is expected to take over as the attacking center midfielder and is a talented player with a great first touch on the ball.
Two newcomers will join Amy Foote to round out the front line, with freshman Erika Neuser (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) in the center and junior Tiffany Parker (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) on the right side.
Neuser is a physically strong player with great touch and placement on her shot, while Parker, a transfer from Anne Arundel Community College, is one of the fastest players on the team and has great quickness.
"I’m looking for Erika to be a finisher for us this year," said Lysik. "Tiffany has the ability to take the quick shot when needed while also slowing it down for a better look."
Freshman Megan Spencer (Baltimore, Md./Loch Raven) will provide more depth at the forward spot and will be looked upon to make some smart runs to give the Bobcats more scoring opportunities.
Freshman Karen Kotofski (Glen Burnie, Md./Northeast) will start at center midfield and play a defensive-minded role, combining with Dudrow to give the Bobcats solid transition. Kotofski was an All-State selection as a senior and brings excellent talent to the squad.
Freshman Becky Rambo (Freeland, Md./Hereford) will challenge for playing time at one of the outside midfield spots and brings solid size (5-9).
Youth will certainly reign supreme as well in the backfield.
Sophomore Wendy Pierce (Culpeper, Va./Culpeper) and freshman Alyse Reed (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) should both see time at stopper.
Pierce gained some experience by appearing in nine games last season before being sidelined with a knee injury, while Reed is a smart player with great field sense and communication skills.
Lysik has a pair of talented players at the sweeper position in sophomore Tiffany Limbacher (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck), who played in 16 games as a freshman last season, and sophomore Jackie Curry (Waldorf, Md./McDonough), who transferred from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
Limbacher is a tenacious defender with good speed, solid foot skills and toughness. However, she suffered a broken arm the night before the first day of preseason camp and is expected to miss the first few weeks of the season.
Curry, who will start in Limbacher’s place, possesses excellent speed, vision and field sense. Curry may move up to forward or midfield when Limbacher returns to the lineup.
Freshman Laurie Reinholt (Middletown, Del./Glasgow) is the likely starter at one of the outside back spots and brings great height (5-10) and smart defensive play to the squad. She is solid on goal kicks and will be involved in many restarts regardless of where they are on the field.
Fellow freshman Aimee Sprague (South Yarmouth, Mass./Yarmouth) will man the other outside back position. Sprague has good speed and brings toughness and a strong work ethic to the team.
Lysik also has versatility with freshmen Lynnea Finch (Owings Mills, Md./Franklin), Megen Majoros (Frederick, Md./Frederick) and Kim Dunbar (Hollywood, Md./Leonardtown).
Finch can play in the back or midfield and is a solid receiver with excellent fitness. Majoros is another candidate for time on defense or in the midfield and possesses good footwork and solid services. Dunbar will bolster the defense at the outside spot.
"I think our defense will be very fast, maybe the fastest we’ve been since I’ve been here," Lysik commented.
The Bobcats do return solid experience in goal with sophomore Stephanie Zych (Slingerlands, N.Y./Guilderland) returning as the starter. She played in 16 games with nine starts last season and posted a 5-4 record to go along with a 2.40 goals against average and a .705 save percentage.
Zych should receive a push from freshman Alana Timulak (Boswell, Pa./North Star), who has looked strong in preseason camp.
"Stephanie’s come back with a lot of confidence," Lysik said. "She’s very athletic, has a great work ethic and is in great physical shape. Alana is very athletic as well and has worked hard through camp. These two will battle every day in practice to make each other better."
While the team’s overall youth is a concern to Lysik, it’s also a source of excitement, especially with the skill of the veteran players and the quality of the newcomers. With the most talent she’s had in her three seasons, Lysik feels the team will show strong balance.
"I think we’ll be solid all the way around," she said. "We have speed and talent in the back, fitness in the midfield and good scorers up front."
With their sights set on making the NCAA Division III Tournament, the Bobcats will certainly be put to the test with a tough schedule that features road games against three national tournament qualifiers last season.
Frostburg State takes on 2000 national quarterfinalist Ohio Wesleyan, ranked No. 6 in this year’s Division III preseason poll; Villa Julie, which advanced to the round of 16 last season; and AMCC rival Penn State Behrend, which edged the Bobcats, 5-4, in last year’s conference title match.
The Bobcats, hindered in the past by being in the Mid-Atlantic Region while the rest of the AMCC teams were in the Great Lakes Region, have been moved in with the league foes and will play a total of 13 games against fellow regional opponents.
Lysik sees the Bobcats battling La Roche and Penn State Behrend for the league crown, and not surprisingly, both of those games are on the road.
"I’m actually looking at so many away games as an advantage," said Lysik. "If we prove we can win on the road, that will give us a lot of confidence."
The Bobcats will test that theory right away, as they will participate in the Gwynedd-Mercy College Tournament. FSU opens against Hartwick College on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. before taking on host Gwynedd-Mercy on Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303