PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The debut of the 2000 Plymouth State College women's soccer team will be this Sunday (Sept. 3) when the Panthers host SUNY Plattsburgh at Panther Field (1 p.m.) in the 2000 season opener.
PSC is seeking a return to the post-season this year after missing out last fall, despite a solid 12-6-1 overall record and 4-2-1 mark in the Little East Conference. Second-year head coach Rebecca Lisack is optimistic about this year's squad, led by the return of nine veterans from last year's team.
"I think we've improved over last season," says Lisack. "We were playing better in the spring than we were last fall, and with fewer players. The loss of five key seniors is really going to hurt us, but if the underclassmen stick together as they did in the spring, the core of our team will be together and we'll be hard to beat."
The Panthers will also be at home on Wednesday (Sept. 6) against Bridgewater State (6 p.m.), continuing the 17-game regular season schedule. The Little East Conference Tournament opens on Oct. 24, with the champion being crowned on Oct. 29 and earning the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Panthers are out to gain their first LEC Championship since winning seven in a row from 1990-96.
2000 P.S.C. Women's Soccer Outlook
PSC should feature a strong offensive unit, according to Lisack. Sophomore Sandra Petlick (New Castle, N.H.), the top returning scorer, had a solid rookie season and was third on the team with six goals. The key, though, could be the healthy return of redshirt junior Carrie Poulin (Westfield, Mass.). She was an All-American in 1997 after scoring a record 22 goals, but has struggled through injuries the past two seasons.
The midfield was hit hardest by graduation, leaving sophomore Krisy Menard (Franklin, Vt.) and junior co-captain Susan Argereow (North Yarmouth, Maine) as the key returning veterans. Argereow could also see playing time at forward, and Petlick could drop back to the midfield. Freshman Cathy Berei (Pennington, N.J.) is among the top freshmen, and could step in right away.
"Krisy Menard should be solid for us," says Lisack. "She reads the game well, and is always in the right place at the right time. Susan Argereow should also be a leader for us."
Senior co-captain Mary Young (Rockland, Mass.) and junior Jill Wolters (Vernon, N.J.) will backbone the defensive unit. Young is a two-time All-Conference selection, and gives the Panthers a solid stopper along the back line. Lisack will also look for contributions from sophomore Katie West (Goffstown, N.H.) and freshman Kristen Hurley (Norfolk, Mass.)
The defense will also have the strength of junior Becky Kennedy (West Springfield, Mass.) in goal. In her first season as starter in 1999, Kennedy posted a solid 0.94 goals against average with five shutouts.
"Becky is a very consistent player," says Lisack, "and she comes up with big saves in big games. I have all the confidence in the world in her, as do her teammates."