Simmons Soccer is gearing up for the start of the 2009 season, just around the corner. Head Coach Erica Mastrogiacomo, in her fourth year leading the program, expects a very successful year from the Sharks. Coming off a 5-7 Great Northeast Athletic Conference record in 2008, Simmons is hungrier than ever for a GNAC title.
"The 2009 season will be very competitive for the Sharks," said Coach Mastrogiacomo. "We have set challenging goals as individuals and as a team. I am confident in my leaders to guide this team toward success."
The team graduated two seniors and will return 16 players from the 2008 roster. In addition, the Sharks welcome eight new faces to the field. The new players will bring a wealth of athleticism, technical skill and aggression to the program. Coach Mastrogiacomo will expect the young players "to arrive mentally and physically prepared to challenge themselves and to fight their way into the starting line-up."
Coach Mastrogiacomo is looking to her junior and senior classes to continue the traditions of Simmons Soccer and to lead by example. The team elected seniors Emily DiNouvo (Palmer, Mass.) and Rachel Elliott (Amherst, N.H.), and junior Katie Foley (Rochester, N.H.) to serve as the team captains for the 2009 season. Both Elliott and DiNuovo have experience as captains of this team and Mastrogiacomo is confident that Foley's personality and competitive attitude will be a great addition to the group.
The Sharks return starters Foley, Brittany Staszowski (Lenox, Mass.) and Mandy Walke (Danvers, Mass.) to the defense. In the midfield, DiNuovo returns with Lindsey Butler (South Weymouth, Mass.), Kelly Muirhead (Middleboro, Mass.) and Kelley Saucier (Waterville, Maine). Attacking for the Sharks will be Anna Stella (Sharon, Mass.) and Brooke MacKenzie (Mansfield, Mass.), who combined for 19 goals in 2008. Junior Allie Megna (North Hampton, N.H.) will return as a utility player for the Sharks and will create many options both defensively and offensively.
First year Justine Beauchamp (Exeter, N.H.) will make an immediate impact in the midfield with excellent distribution and an accurate shot. Her former club teammate, Ally Ayotte (Litchfield, N.H.), will compete for time as a front-runner and will inject the Sharks with speed. First year Lian Atturio (Hanover, Mass.) will solidify the backline in front of senior goalkeeper, Elliott. Sophomore Ashley Wheeler (Nashua, N.H.) and first year Ashley Donaghey (Framingham, Mass.) will also tend goal for the Sharks. Anna Bolton (Amherst, N.H.), Brina Kelly (Portland, Maine) and Chelsea Hersey (Newburyport, Mass.) will compete for time up front and in the midfield.
"Our new players will add depth to an already talented group of returners, and hopefully create an atmosphere of healthy competition throughout the season," said Coach Mastrogiacomo. "My staff and I have high expectations and are eager to see the team in action."
Simmons will open their season at home on Tuesday, September 1 at 7:00 PM when they host Wentworth Institute of Technology.