2017 Season Preview
After making the Centennial Conference Tournament and hosting the first round game on Walton Field during the 2016 season, the Haverford College women's soccer team will return a bevy of experience in search of a deeper postseason run this fall. The Fords, who have nine juniors and nine seniors on the roster of 31, feature 11 different players who have started at least 10 games during their careers and five more who have appeared in at least 20 matches.
The Fords went 10-4-4 a season ago, including a 4-3-2 Centennial Conference record that placed them fourth in the regular season standings. Haverford has won at least 10 matches in seven of the past eight seasons and played in the conference tournament during eight of its 10 seasons under head coach Jamie Schneck who collected her 100th career victory during the 2016 season.
Defense was definitely a focal point of the team in 2016 with Haverford conceding just 0.58 goals against average to break the previous school record set by the 2013 NCAA Tournament team. Graduated from that backline will be starting goalkeeper Kathy Prescott '17 and three-year starter Abby Letts '17, but the Fords have a combined 147 career starts and 238 appearances among their returning defenders. Second-team All-Centennial Conference performers in junior captain Katie Safter and sophomore Kendra Griesman highlight that group.
Senior co-captains Taylor Cross and Safiyah Riddle will provide the veteran leadership with both spending time in the starting XI previously. Juniors Kelly Brown and Abby Crowley also bring starting experience, as does classmate Sydney West who has also seen time in the midfield. Sophomore Lindsay Wytkind started all 18 games during her first year in the program while senior Tori Fleischmann and sophomore Kelsey Smith both have 13 career appearances to their credit. Ellie Burnsjoins that unit as an incoming first year player.
In goal, junior Ali Weiner has served as backup to Prescott during the past two seasons. She did not allow a goal as part of two combined shutouts a season ago. She posted two solo shutouts and was a part of two more in 2015. Julie Hanss appeared in one game last year, helping the team shut out Bryn Mawr in her only action during her rookie season.
In the midfield, seniors Skyler Ellenburg and Raina Fitzpatrick have been three-year starters while junior Maryanna Solecki has been a two-year starter already. Ellenburg has four goals and nine assists in her career and ranks 14th all-time in program history in assists per game. Fitzpatrick has seven goals and four assists while Solecki added two goals and four assists during her first two seasons. Senior Krista Federici and junior Hannah Krapes have both seen time in the starting lineup with Federici tallying a goal and two assists while Krapes has two career goals and one assist.
Grace Mathis has provided great depth off the bench with three goals in her 30 career appearances. Junior Isabella Gross and sophomore Abby Singer also have experience in the midfield. Sophomore Sarah Savonis, along with first years Saede Efrig, Lauren Nguyen, Marina Piccolo, and Emily Thissen will also push for playing time during their rookie seasons.
Up top, senior Anna Dekle has nine career goals to lead all returning players as she has started half of her 52 career appearances. Classmates Sofia Licata and Kendall Logan, along with sophomore Leanne Ludwick all have three career goals. Ludwick's 10 points (three goals, four assists) led the team a year ago. Logan also has four assists in her career. First year Mari Horton will look to bolster the offense in her first collegiate season.
The three teams who finished ahead of the Fords in the Centennial Conference standings last year each made the NCAA Tournament and Haverford get its chance to play each of those sides in front of the Walton Field faithful this fall. In total, fans will have nine chances to catch the Fords at home in 2017.