Expectations are high for the 2008 version of the New Paltz women’s soccer team after they posted a 7-6-6 record and reached the SUNYAC tournament were they were defeated by Plattsburgh in the first round as a result of penalty kicks. Head Coach Colleen Bruley hopes to build on the successes of 2007 as she brings in a top-notch recruiting class and returns a solid core of veterans.
Second team All-SUNYAC goalkeeper, Sarah Boccard (Washingtonville) returns to anchor the Hawks in goal after posting a record of 7-5-5 in net allowing 1.09 goals against average and a .875 save percentage, ranking her third in the conference. First year Danielle Gura (Oceanside) will serve as a backup in goal.
Senior Stephanie Wallman (Smithtown) and two-time All-SUNYAC selection Jennifer Moretti (Sayville) return to lead the defensive line. Moretti netted three goals last year, two of which she scored off a direct kicks. First year Shannon Cobb (Poughkeepsie/Arlington) will start next to Wallman on the inside while sophomores Brittany Bennett (Smithtown/Smithtown West) and Vanessa Rogers (Otisville/Minisink Valley) will split time at outside back. First years Danielle Sawicki (Garden City/New Hyde Park Memorial), Liann Choi (East Moriches/Center Moriches) and sophomore Nora Westcott (Howard Beach/St. Francis Prep) will see time at a defensive mid position where they can utilize their strength to challenge the ball. Junior Rebecca Kafko (Brooklyn/Midwood) completes the defensive rotation.
Three-time All-SUNYAC player, Jennifer Anselmi (North Rockland) will control the midfield for the Hawks. Anselmi netted three goals, one assist while playing in all 19 games. Playing next to Anselmi in the middle will be first years Maggie Vasconi (Staten Island/Curtis) and Alexa Balestrieri (Massapequa). Monitoring the outside of the field will be sophomore Emily Buckner (Pine Bush) who started 15 games as a rookie and first year Sherri Lajoie (River Edge, NJ/River Dell Regional). Senior Rachel Vanni (Haskell, NJ/Lakeland Regional) is a versatile player in the midfield who played in all 19 games last year, while sophomores Tanja Todoric (Spring Valley) and Kelly Gorton (New Paltz) round out the midfield.
Pacing the attack up top will be sophomore Rebecca Devlin (Staten Island/Moore Catholic) and first year Elana Jaroff (Old Westbury/The Wheatley School). Devlin started nine of the 19 games she played in and netted two goals. Janis Jackson (Schenectady/Loudonville Christian) is a junior transfer from SUNY Oswego who can make plays happen up top and senior Kate Addiss (Amherst) will be a leader up top and compete for time on the field.
The Hawks open their season against Union on Saturday, August 30, with the home opener slated for Wednesday, September 24 versus Manhattanville at 4:00 pm.