Women’s Soccer: Roster overhaul to help Huskies

Women’s Soccer: Roster overhaul to help Huskies

By Jason Kornwitz

After a disappointing inaugural season in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) (6-12-1, 3-8), the Huskies head into the 2006 campaign “cautiously optimistic.”

That phrase, uttered by coach Ed Matz, is often repeated when he speaks of both the opportunities and tests that await his players.

“I do think this team is going to be more talented than last year,” Matz said. “Last year we had our chances to affect the outcome of every game in a positive way. We weren’t able to take advantage of those chances. I think this year when those chances are present, we will take advantage. Right off the bat, this team is two or three wins better than last year. We could challenge for the fifth or sixth spot in the CAA playoffs.”

The evidence to support his statement is a roster overhaul. The loss of five graduating seniors, including goalkeeper Mariel Wilner and midfielder Jessica Pfeifer, has buoyed others like keeper Annie Petrofsky to take on starting roles.

In four games last season, Petrofsky saved 15 shots and let five into the net.

Still, Matz said he is excited about Petrofsky’s strength, footwork in goal and raw athletic ability, but says it’s the intangible, off-field part of her game that needs conditioning.

“[Petrofsky] needs to work on the leadership that Mariel provided us,” he said.

The experience gained by first-year stand-outs such as forward Caitlin Whelan, who netted a team-leading six goals and tied for the team lead in points with 12, could propel an offense that was outscored 38-21 in 2005.

“[Whelan] had a very good spring and she’s been training very hard. She’s very fit right now,” Matz said. “She needs to be an integral part of our offense

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