|2012 Manhattan Women's Soccer Season Outlook|
The Manhattan women's soccer team has a renewed vision for the 2012 campaign under the direction of third year head coach Brendan Lawler. Coming off an injury plagued 2011 season, which resulted in nine one goal losses, the Jaspers are focused on qualifying for the four-team MAAC Championships field and look to vie for the conference crown.
"We fully expect our returning starters to be the strong core of a team we believe can contend," said Lawler. "Martine Diamond and Janie Schlauder will be relied on to lead our attack. Kara Davis will hold down the fort in the back with the help of Shannon Barry. We know the rest of our returnees will play major roles, possibly in new positions, and our incoming players will compete for impactful minutes from day one.
"The great thing about this roster is that we will have real depth and competitive balance. Our incoming players, both freshmen and transfers, are going to make us deeper than we have ever been before. We expect them to raise our level of play from the beginning."
Davis returns to the field in full strength coming back from a season ending injury that she suffered in the second to last game in 2011. In her first three seasons, Davis has helped the Jaspers to 15 wins, secure 10 shutouts and has made 288 career saves.
The Jaspers return two thirds of its scoring offense from 2011. Manhattan has three of its top four point scorers back, including Diamond who led the team with 11 points and five goals last season.
"Our expectation for this team is we want each player to work as hard mentally and physically every day, while also giving their teammates the support they need to do their best. If we can accomplish this, positive results will follow," said Lawler.
Manhattan has several options up front beginning with Diamond who has evolved into one of the top offensive threats in the MAAC. Starting all 16 appearances last season, the junior ranked in the top-10 of the MAAC in goals scored and fired a team-high 34 shots. The 5'6" forward from Island Park, N.Y. is a dynamic player who can create opportunities off the dribble and make great runs off the ball.
Schlauder will work alongside Diamond for the second straight year since transitioning to the front line after playing in the back as a freshman. In 2011, she started 14 of 16 games, tallied five points and led Manhattan in assists. Schlauder is an offensive threat who has good vision of the field with a precise passing ability.
"We know that Martine and Janie can be as dangerous an attacking pair as there is in the conference," explained Lawler. "With the experience we have returning and the goal scoring ability of our newcomers, our strategy will be finding the best way possible to have as many goal scorers on the field at the same time."
Seniors Kayla Howden and Allison Pfeiffer will also look to make an impact up front. They are two of the most experienced players on the squad each seeing action in over 50 games during their careers in Riverdale. Howden can give the Jaspers an added scoring punch with her ability to create her own shot off the dribble. She has fired 40 shots over the last two seasons with the Jaspers.
Pfeiffer scored three points in 16 appearances last season, including a goal to help Manhattan earn a 2-1 victory at Saint Peter's. The 5'9" native of Floral Park, N.Y. has good sense around the goal and has proved her ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities. Pfeiffer is a versatile athlete who can be utilized in the back.
Freshman Emily Ude, Tiffanie McIntosh and Sam Washuk bring additional firepower to the front line. Ude comes to Manhattan from North Babylon High School where she graduated with the school's career assist record (32) and is third all-time in program history for goals scored (37). She has a dynamic attacking ability that features a knack to score around the goal in a variety of ways.
McIntosh was a New York State Class C First Team honoree at Lansing High School where she helped the program garner a No. 2 state ranking as a senior with a 16-2 record. She is a physical forward with good technical ability and quickness. Washuk, a native of Milford, Conn., enjoyed a successful high school career at Joseph A. Foran where she was a four year starter and earned Hammonasset All Division honors. She possesses a strong tactical understanding of the game.
"The midfield will again be a difficult line to sort out," Lawler said. "We want to be more physical in the air and attack minded at the same time. It is our strong belief that by moving players around, returning players and incoming players, we will have the pieces needed to gain the physicality and scoring threats we are looking for."
Egan, a native of Orangeburg, N.Y., has appeared in 31 games during her career at Manhattan. She brings this experience and a good understanding of the game to the midfield. Iovine looks to build on a solid 2011 campaign where she started 15 of 16 appearances. The 5'3" junior from Canton, Conn. has good technical skills and versatility to the turf.
Transfers Andrea Arnone, Aislinn McIlvenny and Daniella Morgante will challenge for playing time immediately. Arnone is a local product from Yonkers, N.Y. who played her first two years at the University of Tampa. She appeared in 29 games and started seven times over two seasons with the Spartans. McIlvenny also returns to New York from Charleston Southern University in South Carolina where she started all 17 appearances last season and recorded four points. McIlvenny hails from Pleasant Valley, N.Y. and was a two-time All-State selection at Arlington High School. Morgante spent her freshman year in the Atlantic 10 conference at Saint Joseph's University. The Amawalk, N.Y. native was a four year starter at Somers High School.
Freshmen Mary Hijazi and Catherine Kinney will also compete for minutes at the midfield. Hijazi is a 5'7" product of Merrick, N.Y. who started all four years at Sanford H. Calhoun High school. She is a technical midfielder with the ability to orchestrate tempo and direction of attacks. Kinney comes to Manhattan from Smithtown, N.Y. where she was an All-County honoree at Smithtown West. Kinney offers good technical ability and quickness to the lineup.
Manhattan's strength is expected to be in its backline which consists of senior Claire Reinhard, junior Shannon Barry and sophomore Rachel Tomashosky. Seniors Nicole Landes and Sara Jones will add to the Jaspers' highly experienced defensive unit.
"We have tremendous depth in the back this year," Lawler said. "As a coaching staff, our most difficult decision this year will be deciding our outside backs, because of the talent returning and coming into the program. We will also consider transitioning forwards to the back in order to create more of an attacking mentality in this area."
Reinhard has started all 33 appearances for the Jaspers since transferring to Manhattan two years ago. The 5'8" native of Ridgewood, N.J. is an excellent technical player who can excel in the middle of the field. Her versatility allows her to also play at the midfield.
Barry emerged as a reliable option in the back as a sophomore starting in all 16 appearances. The 5'8" product of Arlington High School has good fundamentals, she is a major presence in the air and is strong in tackles. Tomashosky is coming off a strong spring season and is expected to take on a larger role in 2012. She played in 14 games last season making four starts. Tomashosky has strong individual defending skills and a tactical understanding of the game.
Landes returns to the backline where she saw action in all 17 games last season, making 11 starts. She is a physical defender with good speed and knowledge of the game. Jones appeared in 15 games earning five starts in 2011. She is also a tough defender who has the ability to attack out of the back.
Returnees Keara Hunt and Shannon Garrity give Manhattan additional options on the backline. Hunt enters her junior campaign with 21 career matches under her belt. She is a fearless defender who showed a glimpse of her offensive ability last season when she posted the game winning goal in a victory over Albany at Gaelic Park. Garrity made 14 appearances during her freshman campaign in 2011. She looks to build on this experience as she adds depth to a talented defensive squad.
Freshmen Colleen Kavanagh, Hannah Pogulis and Taylor Salkowsky may also have the opportunity to bolster the Jaspers' defensive unit. Kavanagh hails from Rockville Centre, N.Y. and was a three year starter at Sacred Heart Academy. She brings versatility to the roster with her ability to play in the middle or out wide. Pogulis is a 5'7" defender from Monroe-Woodbury High School where she started three years on the varsity squad. Salkowsky is from Massapequa Park, N.Y. and enjoyed a successful career at St. Anthony's High School where she started all four years. The 5'7" back helped lead St. Anthony's to the 2011 New York State CHSAA Class AA Championship.
Senior captain Kara Davis will anchor the defensive unit once again in her final season in Riverdale. Davis, a MAAC All-Rookie Team selection in 2009, burst onto the scene as a freshman and has started 50 of 51 career appearances. She is coming off a career year where she posted 127 saves and maintained a .836 save percentage.
"Kara was one of the top goalkeepers in the conference last year and we know she will be again this year," said Lawler. "Her athletic ability, desire, and ability to make those around her better will go a long way in the development of Maria (Sanzari) and Kristen (Skoniecnzy)."
Junior goalkeeper Maria Sanzari and freshman Kristen Skonieczny will back up Davis this season. Sanzari made three appearances in 2011 and started the final game of the year against Loyola in lieu of the injured Davis. Skonieczny is a 5'7" goaltender who was a three year varsity starter at Arlington High School. As a senior, she helped lead Arlington to the New York State Section I Championship and advance to the Class AA title contest. Skonieczny is a fearless competitor who brings a high level of experience to Riverdale.
The Manhattan women's soccer team will play a 17-game campaign in 2012 featuring eight home matches at Gaelic Park. In addition to nine competitive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) contests, Manhattan's out-of-league schedule features teams from the Atlantic 10 and the Patriot League. Manhattan opens the regular-season on August 24 under the lights at archrival Fordham.
The Jaspers start their journey to compete for the 2012 MAAC Championship on August 12 with a scrimmage at Central Connecticut State University. The squad tunes up once more before the regular-season on August 18 with the Green & White scrimmage at Gaelic Park.
Manhattan is set to play its opening three games on the road. The Jaspers kick off at Fordham (Aug. 24) for the annual 'Battle of the Bronx' looking to knock off the Rams for the second straight season. Manhattan will then travel to Delaware State (Aug. 26) and Sacred Heart (Sept. 2) before returning to Riverdale for its home opener with Lafayette on Sept. 7. The Leopards are coming off a second place finish in the Patriot League in 2011.
On Sept. 9, the Jaspers visit Atlantic 10 opponent Rhode Island. Manhattan returns to Gaelic Park three days later for a midweek home match with Northeast Conference member Wagner (Sept. 12). Manhattan then squares off at Stony Brook (Sept. 14) and wraps up the non-conference portion of the schedule at home against Holy Cross (Sept. 22), which begins a four game home stand.
MAAC play opens on Sept. 29 against Saint Peter's. Rider (Oct. 5) and Loyola (Oct. 7) come to Riverdale the following weekend. The Jaspers next destination is Western New York where they will take on Niagara (Oct. 12) and Canisius (Oct. 14).
Manhattan hosts defending MAAC champion Marist (Oct. 19) and Siena (Oct. 21) for the final home weekend of the year. The Jaspers complete the regular-season with a pair of road games against Iona (Oct. 26) and Fairfield (Oct. 28).
The 2012 MAAC Women's Soccer Championships will be held at Tenney Stadium at Leonidoff Field on the Marist College campus Nov. 2 & 4. The top four teams in the conference will qualify for the tournament. The league champion will receive an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament.