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Women's Soccer Favored to Three-Peat as AMCC Champions in 2003

FROSTBURG, MD - Experience will lead the 2003 Frostburg State University women’s soccer team as they return 17 players, including 10 of the 11 starters from the 2002 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference championship team. The Bobcats look to continue their success as they were voted the favorites by conference coaches to win their third straight conference title in 2003.

“It is a very realistic goal for us to win the AMCC regular season title and host the conference tournament,” said second-year head coach Brian Parker. “If we can three-peat as conference champions we will likely earn third-straight independent bid to the national NCAA postseason tournament. Our goal for this year is too earn that bid and make a bigger statement in postseason than we have the past two years.”

FSU returns ten starters to their lineup including the two most dynamic performers in school history up front and in the back. Junior forward Karen Kotofski (Northeast/Glen Burnie, Md.) and senior goalkeeper Stephanie Zych (Guilderland/Slingerlands, N.Y.) look to lead this program further than it as ever been before.

Kotofski, who missed the first six games of the season last year, was able to comeback and still lead the team in goals scored (17) and points recorded (36). Currently she stands second behind Amy Foote in career goals scored and points recorded, and even with a repeat performance of last seasons statistics that will be enough to capture both records.

Zych, who currently is the all-time career leader in games won (32), shutouts (14) and saves (347), looks to add upon those totals this season while leading the Bobcats to another postseason appearance.

“Kotofski and Zych are two of the best players in the conference at their positions and will be very important to our teams success,” said Parker. “However, we know it’s a team game and that every player will be essential to accomplish our team goals.”

In the back the Bobcats return the young but aggressive defensive unit that includes Junior Laurie Reinholt (Glasgow/Middletown, Del.), sophomores Beth Hlebasko (Linganore/New Market, Md.) and Teri Galt (Good Counsel/Silver Spring, Md.). Hlebasko, who was a second-team All-AMCC selection last season will lead the way both on defense, but at the same time offensively from the back as she scored twice and added an assist.

The fourth back position is still being contested as sophomore Clair Duhigg (South Carroll/Mt. Airy, Md.) and junior Lynnea Finch (Franklin/Owings Mill, Md.) are expected to split most of the time at that spot throughout the season. However, sophomore midfielder Erin Carraghan (Walkersville/Walkersville, Md.) and junior transfer Candi Burkhardt (Parkville/Essex CC/Baltimore, Md.) may see some significant time in the backfield.

In the middle, sophomore Jodie Gittleson (Wooton/Rockville, Md.) will once again anchor a high-powered mid-field. Along with juniors Aimee Sprague (Yarmouth/Yarmouth, Mass.), Becky Rambo (Hereford/Freeland, Md.), Carraghan and Alyse Reed (Cherry Hill East/Cherry Hill, N.J.) the Bobcats will look to out possess all their opponents, as they were very successful last season at doing. Also supporting the attack in the midfield will be sophomore Micaela Karinshak (Loudoun County/Leesburg, Va.) and junior transfer Beth Yetter (Holy Cross-MC/Silver Spring, Md.).

Rambo, another second-team All-AMCC selection in 2002, along with Gittleson, an honorable mention selection in the AMCC as a freshman, will lead the middle of the field both offensively, but more importantly control the tempo of the game with a very aggressive style of play. Reed and Carraghan will also share much of the play making responsibilities in midfield.

Yetter, who comes to FSU from Montgomery Junior College was MVP of her region in 2001 and earned many regional honors in high school at The Academy of the Holy Cross in Maryland.

Up front Kotofski will be again teamed with junior Erica Neuser (Fallston/Forest Hill, Md.), who was another honorable mention selection in the AMCC as she lead the team in assists and was second with eight goals and 22 points recorded.

Sophomore Shera Rowan (Bishop Walsh/Frostburg, Md.) will see time off the bench at the forward position along with the teams’ only true freshman Danielle Carter (Rockville/Rockville, Md.), a speedster who can also play in the midfield.

“The team as a whole really expects bigger and better things this season. They all dedicated themselves to improving individually and it shows. Nine of them have already set personal bests in their preseason fitness testing,” commented Parker on the teams conditioning.

Also, with the addition of two transfers and a true freshman, that was able to win all the speed testing in preseason, the Bobcats look to find that much needed depth that is needed to take the next step nationally.

Coming off a season in which the Bobcats faced its toughest competition in school history, some more tests will be in store for FSU. As Coach Parker described, “we are playing several teams ranked in our region as well as teams from three other regions, so we will be tested in a number of ways before our AMCC schedule begins.”

The Bobcats will open the season on August 30th at St. Vincent University. On September 13th they will host Carnegie Mellon in an exciting rematch from last years 1-0 shutout at Carnegie Mellon in this years home opener. The Bobcats have to wait until October 7th to open their AMCC schedule when they travel to La Roche.

“Like our players, the coaching staff realizes that it is a great time for women’s soccer at Frostburg State University,” said Parker. “We look to have a lot of success on the field and be a team that is a lot of fun to watch.”

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