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2008 Elizabethtown College
Following a stellar 2007 season, the Elizabethtown College women's soccer team is poised to make a run at a third straight NCAA Division III playoff berth in 2008.
With seven starters and 19 letterwinners back from last year's team, first-year head coach Bob Scotten '78 will rely on his veteran roster to challenge Messiah College for supremacy in the Commonwealth Conference.
Last season, the Blue Jays finished 17-4-1 overall and fell to Messiah in the conference title game. Elizabethtown earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III tournament, but lost 1-0 to Union College in a first-round match.
Leading the Blue Jay offense is senior forward Jenna Russo (Florham Park, NJ/Hanover Park), who was named Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year in 2007 after leading the Blue Jays with 10 goals and nine assists for 29 points, including four game-winning goals.
Fellow senior Brooke Dotterer (Spring City, PA/Owen J. Roberts) joins Russo up front after netting 10 goals and seven assists for 27 points, with five of her tallies standing as game-winners, and earning second-team All-Conference honors.
Also at forward, junior Christina Sheppard (Millville, NJ/Millville) is back after scoring a goal and three assists in 20 games, while sophomore Mallory Murphy (Pottsville, PA/Pottsville) finished with three goals and an assist in her rookie season.
Sophomore Katelyn Roderick (Lititz, PA/Manheim Township) came off the bench to contribute one assist in 13 games last year, while sophomore Erin Stone (Carlisle, PA/Boiling Springs) appeared in 11 matches in her first year.
In the midfield, junior Erin Scott (West Chester, PA/Bishop Shanahan) was named second-team All-Conference, scoring four goals and two assists for 10 points while starting all 22 games, while sophomore Kelly Fisher (Harrisburg, PA/Bishop McDevitt) tallied a pair of goals in 19 contests last season.
Junior Ellen Parr (Columbia, MD/Atholton) and sophomore Elyse Carabello (Reading, PA/Exeter Twp.) will see increased minutes this season after seeing regular time off the bench last season. Parr finished with one assist in 19 games, while Carabello tallied a goal and two assists in 21 appearances.
Junior Angela Candelora (North Haven, CT/Sacred Heart Academy) also returns for the Blue Jays after seeing action in six matches last season.
The Blue Jay defense lost two starters to graduation, but second-team All-Conference performer Gretchen Geiger (Pilesgrove, NJ/Woodstown) teams up with fellow senior Carly Hoskins (Bangor, PA/Bangor) to provide veteran depth.
Additional experience comes from junior Denise Nott (Manchester, MD/North Carroll) and sophomores Paige Minka (Avondale, PA/Kennett), Lisa Nyman (South Glastonbury, CT/Kingswood-Oxford School) and Ashton Heydt (Fleetwood, PA/Fleetwood).
In goal, senior Angela Freeland (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) turned in a stellar season for the Blue Jays in 2007, finishing with an 11-3-1 record and a 0.82 goals against average in 17 starts while contributing eight of the Blue Jays' school-record 15 shutouts.
Sophomore Kristen Kelly (Bensalem, PA/Villa Joseph Marie) will serve as Freeland's backup after playing 266 minutes, 17 seconds without allowing a goal last year. She went 3-0 in six matches while making seven saves.
First-year players for the Blue Jays are forward Alexandra Magnolo (Robbinsville, NJ/Allentown), midfielders Stephanie Elwood (Orwigsburg, PA/Blue Mountain) and Leigh Nevitt (Middlesex, NJ/Middlesex), defenders Danni Mink (Crownsville, MD/Annapolis Area Christian) and Jenny Kley (Chester Springs, PA/Shipley School), and goalkeeper Lauren Duffy (Cheltenham, PA/Cheltenham). Sophomore midfielder Colleen LaForge (Scotch Plains, NJ/Scotch Plains-Fanwood) will also make her Etown debut in 2008.
Elizabethtown opens its season on Saturday, Aug. 30 by hosting Christopher Newport University in the Blue Jay Classic. Ten of the Blue Jays' 19 games are at Ira R. Herr Field, including a Homecoming battle with Arcadia University on Saturday, Oct. 18 and a season-ending clash with Messiah on Saturday, Nov. 1.
The Blue Jays play the first of their six Commonwealth Conference matches on Saturday, Oct. 11 at Widener University.