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Women's Soccer Looking to Build Upon Recent Success in 2002

FROSTURG, MD - The Frostburg State University women’s soccer team will return to the field this fall with the highest of expectations after its most successful season ever in 2001. As defending Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Champions and NCAA Division III Tournament participant the Bobcats will look to set the bar even higher in 2002. “We feel we have both the talent and the experience to win the conference again this season and feel that we can earn the right to host this year’s AMCC tournament,” commented first-year head coach, Brian Parker a 1992 graduate.

Leading the charge again this season will be sophomore forward, Karen Kotofski (Northeast/Glen Burnie, Md.), who set single-season school records with 21 goals and 49 points last season on her way to being named to the All-AMCC first team.

“Karen is one of the best all-around athletes on the team,” said Parker “She is quick to the ball, and has a nose for scoring goals.”

Running with Kotofski up front will be senior Tiffany Parker (Northeast/ Pasadena, Md.), who is one of the fastest on the team with the ball. She can face up with anyone and take players on one-on-one very well. Providing some support and depth up front will be senior Christina Bleivik (Barlett/ Anchorage, Alaska), sophomore Christa Vent (Glenelg/Glenwood, Md.) and freshman Shera Rowan (Bishop Walsh/Frostburg, Md.)

“We will be a very athletic team, and be able to pressure with numbers because of a strong and physical defense,” Parker commented on his team’s style of play. “We expect to get off to quick starts and keep the pressure on teams for 90-minutes.”

FSU will be looking to a couple other young but experienced talents to get this team off to quick starts and lead this team back to the NCAA Tournament. Leading the way in goal will be junior goalkeeper Stephanie Zych (Guilderland/Slingerlands, N.Y.), who set a school record in 2001 recording 17 wins, nine of which were shutouts.

“Zych is by far the best athlete I have ever coached in goal,” said Parker. “She has great hands, is a fierce competitor and has become a vocal leader on the field. She has set a personal goal this season to earn All-American honors, and we think she can accomplish that goal.”

In front of Zych will be more than a handful of physical veteran defenders, junior Allison Ottey (Thomas Jefferson HS/Frederick, Md.), freshman Teri Galt (Good Counsel HS/Silver Springs, Md.), junior Jacquelyn Curry (McDonough/Waldorf, Md.), Laurie Reinholt (Glasgow/Middletown, Dl.) and freshman Beth Hlebasko (Linganore HS/New Market, Md.) look to provide FSU with the support needed to shutdown any opponent.

Ottey has great speed, communicates well with her teammates, and has an incredible work ethic that makes her a great role model on the team. Galt is a graceful speedster and also communicates very well. Reinholt hits the ball harder than anyone on the team and will compete for starts and minutes in the back.

Curry is one of the fastest players on the team and with her experience is almost impossible to beat one-on-one. Hlebasko is the youngest but is very technically sound. She strikes the ball well and will allow FSU to counter and deliver balls up field quickly and accurately.

Providing needed depth needed on defense will be sophomore Lynnea Finch (Franklin HS/Owings Mills, Md.) and freshman Clair Duhigg (South Carroll HS/Mt. Airy, Md.) Finch and Duhigg will round out the backfield and can come in and provide great support in any situation.

Holding down the middle of the field will be some newcomers mixed with some talented veterans. Newcomers freshman Jodie Gittleson (Wooton/Rockville, Md.) and freshman Erin Carraghan (Walkersville/Walkersville, Md.) will provide the Bobcats with some tremendous technical skill and great insight. They are among the best all-around playmakers on the squad.

Veterans, sophomore Becky Rambo (Hereford/Freeland, Md.), sophomore Aimee Sprague (Dennis-Yarmouth/Yarmouth, Mass.) and sophomore Alyse Reed (Cherry Hill/Cherry Hill, N.J.) will round out the midfield lineup. They provide great speed, power and leadership on and off the field.

Some other Bobcats that will be making an important impact on the team off the field will be reserve goalkeeper freshman Jackie Tonsing (Westlake HS/Waldorf, Md.), reserve midfielders sophomore Erika Neuser (Fallston HS/Forest Hill, Md.), junior Tiffany Limbacher (Broadneck HS/Annapolis, Md.), and freshman Micaela Karinshak (Loudoun HS/Leesburg, Va.).

Neuser, Limbacher and Karinshak will compete for minutes on the field, but maybe more important will be their dedication off the field as this years Bobcats can look down their bench and find a player in every position ready and able to step in at anytime to take this team back to the top.

FSU’s incredible depth will allow them to play with a lot of speed and be physical as well. The main concern will be consistency with a tough away schedule and a wide variety of opponents.

One thing that will be pushing all the Bobcats is the taste of success they experienced last year by reaching the NCAA Tournament. An early exit was not a huge let down, but this season will set the table for FSU to build a solid program that can and will compete year after year.

“Even in Division I soccer, most schools have no chance of winning a national title, but I can’t say that here at Frostburg,” said Parker. “We have an opportunity this season as well as in the future to build a program that can compete with the best in the nation. The National title is always the light at the end of the tunnel and we hope to get there.”

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