Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Women's Soccer Preview: Can Hopkins Three-Peat?
pictured: Lisa Nichols, Dickinson
"Three-peat." To win a championship three straight times. The challenge facing the Johns Hopkins women's soccer team in 2007.
Gettysburg couldn't do it. The Bullets won back-to-back crowns in 1993-94 and 1998-99, but could not corral the third consecutive title in 1995 nor 2000. Muhlenberg couldn't turn the trick, winning championships in 2000-01 but not in 2002. Even Hopkins has been unable to "three-peat," taking the trophy to Baltimore in 1996-97 but leaving it behind in 1998. It is a difficult task, no doubt, made even harder by the fact that the Conference is balanced yet again, returning four teams that won at least 13 matches a year ago.
Johns Hopkins opens the year as the preseason Centennial favorite and is ranked 16th nationally by both the NSCAA and D3kicks.com. A trio of second-team All-CC performers are back for the Jays including Molly Steele (Daleville, VA / North Cross), Chrissy McCurdy (Mountainside, NJ / Gov. Livingston) and Johanna Chapin (Madison, WI / Madison West). Steele was the team's second-leading scorer with 10 goals and four assists.
Swarthmore made its first-ever trip to the Conference championship match last fall, losing a 1-0 decision to Hopkins in Baltimore. The Garnet, who set a school record with 15 wins in 2006, return high-scoring sophomore Katie Kanuka (Oakville, ONT / Holy Trinity Catholic), who led the CC with 17 goals on her way to first-team All-Centennial honors. Junior D Caitlin Mullarkey (Wilmington, DE / Ursuline Academy) was a repeat selection on the All-CC first team, while junior GK Lauren Walker (Fallston, MD / Hotchkiss School) and soph M Maggie DeLorme (Lusby, MD / Patuxent) received honorable mention.
Gettysburg and Johns Hopkins have each won five Centennial titles, but a new day has dawned over the Battlefield as Matt Garrett takes over as head coach, replacing Todd Wawrousek. Seven starters are back for the Bullets, including co-captain Shaina Wright (Gettysburg, PA / Gettysburg), daughter of Gettysburg AD David Wright.
There's young ... and then there is Muhlenberg, who has three seniors, three juniors, 11 sophomores and 11 freshmen on the roster. Senior D Maura Hendsey (E. Windsor, CT / E. Windsor) leads the defense, while twin sisters Christina and Ashley O'Grady (Mechanicsburg, PA / Cumberland Valley) were second-team All-Centennial picks at forward and back, respectively.
Ursinus welcomes back three All-CC seniors in D Cori Turkowski (Bushkill, PA / Warren Hills), M Jess Hartline (Kinnelon, NJ / Kinnelon) and F Chelsea Morin (Newtown, CT / Newtown) in its quest for a fifth straight trip to the CC tournament.
Senior F Lisa Nichols (North Granby, CT / Granby Memorial) leads the Dickinson attack, earning her second straight first-team All-CC nod after scoring 16 goals. She has 31 for her career. Haverford should be strong on defense with senior Hana Rosen (San Diego, CA / Francis Parker School) who earned honorable mention All-Centennial honors in 2006 in front of junior GK Lindsey Festa (Old Field, NY / Stony Brook School).
Franklin & Marshall looks to seniors Athena Manolakos (Wilmington, DE / Tatnall School) and Kathryn Daniels (Tolland, CT / Tolland) to lead the 2007 edition of the Diplomats, who will play on a new turf pitch this fall. McDaniel senior M Sarah Wallace (Gosheen, MA / Hampshire Regional) led the team with 10 goals last fall. The Terror are one of four Centennial teams with a new coach (Bryan Shumaker).
Bryn Mawr will be led by senior M Wallis Romzek (Lawrence, KS / Lawrence Free State) who had four goals and three assists last fall. Washington senior F Megan Russell (Federalsburg, MS / Seaford Christian Academy, DE) and junior F Sarah Yarbrough (Golden, CO / Arvada West) combined for 10 goals for the Shorewomen in 2006.