|2003 Season Outlook||August 2003|
After a series of rebuilding seasons, the women's soccer team indeed had the breakthrough season in 2002. Finishing at 12-5, the team had its best record ever, including the most victories in CUA soccer history (men's and women's).
Having completed such a season for the Cardinals essentially means that they have the confidence and the personnel to continue their winning ways. Coach Racek is confident that they are ready to continue their CAC contests as well as take on new out of conference challenges.
In the defensive end, the Cardinals bring back three solid performers. While senior standout Jackie Yacenda is gone, the team returns junior Allison Campbell, sophomore Emily Clark and co-captain junior sweeper Amanda Griffiths. In goal the Cardinals will likely have a newcomer, as there are several incoming freshmen that will compete for the position.
In the midfield, the Cardinals lose an important contributor to the program in four-year starter Colleen Redlinger. It will be difficult replacing her but Coach Racek believes the upper classmen and incoming players will fill the gap. Fortunately, the team returns four starters, including seniors Lia DeGisi and Brianne Palmieri, both two-year captains, sophomore Second Team All-CAC selection Laura Kaye and junior Aubrey Maki. Joining this group should be sophomore Deanna Keil and freshman standout Erin Crowley. Kaye scored a 14 goals last season, five of which were game-winners.
Offensively, the Cardinals will have plenty of weapons to put the ball in the back of the net. Returning is First Team All-CAC pick Jenny Aspinwall, a great player who led the league in scoring last year with 15 goals. With great speed and skill, she is in close range to break CUA's scoring record this season. Joining her this year will be junior Stephanie Hare, who showed her own scoring touch, netting 7 goals, in her first year with the Cardinals.
The 2003 schedule is a traditionally challenging one, pitting the Cardinals against CAC foes Mary Washington, Salisbury University, York College and St. Mary's. In addition, the team will be facing off against regional non-conference opponents in Washington College, and McDaniel College. And for the first time, CUA is hosting the first annual CUA Capitol Classic pitting the four area Women's Division II and III teams against each other. Catholic University will host Trinity College, Columbia Union College and Gallaudet University. The tournament will be held over three days- September 26th-28th.