The 2000 Sacramento State women's soccer team returns five starters
and 11 letterwinners from last year's 8-8-1 squad, including two of last
year's top three scorers. In addition, a group of two redshirt freshmen,
two transfers and nine freshmen round out the roster.
According to head coach Sandra Asimos, the key to this season and
the ongoing push to inch above the .500 mark for the first time in the
program's history (1994-pres.) will be the overall health of the team. Last
year, nine different players missed all or parts of the season with various
"We had a bit of a problem with the injury bug last year and we
need to stay healthy throughout the season to accomplish our goals," Asimos
said. "I think that will make all the difference as far as advancing to the
Big Sky Conference playoffs (for the first time since 1997)."
With a total of 13 players new to the program in 2000, the strength
of this year's recruiting class will have a significant effect on the
overall prospects of the team.
"We have a very good incoming class and the work rate and skills
they bring in will help the team greatly," Asimos said. "They all have the
desire to come to Sacramento State and make a difference for the program
and I think that will translate into more victories this season."
Injuries and youth aside, the team will be hard-pressed to replace
a pair of seniors who contributed significantly over the past two years.
Foward Jessica Mackiewicz, who led the team in scoring last year, is gone
after finishing second all-time in school history in career goals and
points despite playing just two years. Last year's team MVP, goalkeeper
Kristy Milanese is also gone after finishing her career second all-time in
goalie saves and shutouts while also playing only two seasons.
Mackiewicz's production should be taken up by a talented group of
forwards including reshirt freshman Jennifer Spudic, sophomore Lisa
Wrightsman and juniors Lori Kerswell and Dana Dydasco. Wrightsman finished
second on the team last year in goals (four) and points (nine) despite
being just a freshman. Dydasco saw action in 15 games while recording one
goal on four shots.
Kerswell took a redshirt last year after a stellar 1998 season in
which she recorded three goals and five assists. Spudic sat out last season
with a knee injury and her health remains a question mark heading into the
"If we stay healthy, we have a good amount of scorers because teams
can't focus on just one player like years past," Asimos said. "With
Wrightsman's ability to get behind the defense, she'll probably have the
most opportunities to score."
Asimos will rely on a pair of freshmen in Amy Seely and Tiffany
Genovese to replace the departed Milanese in net. Seely, who posted a
career 0.65 goals-against average at Wilsonville High School in Oregon and
was a first team all-state selection last year, has the upper hand at the
starting nod. Genovese was named team MVP during her senior year at North
Surrey Section High School in Canada last season.Senior Krissy Collyer, who
started the final three games of last season in net after Milanese went
down with an injury, will also provide depth to the position. Collyer will
also see time as a midfielder and forward.
"Milanese was definitely a leader and a great player for the program,"
Asimos said. "But I feel we have two keepers coming in who can do a great
job for us in net."
Veterans Kristin Hoffman, Lisa Casey, Desirae Feria and Heidi Clabaugh
each return to provide a solid base of midfielders, by far the deepest
position on the team. Hoffman and Casey, who both play on the outside and
comprise two of the four seniors on this year's squad, finished third and
fifth, respectively, in scoring in 1999. Hoffman is tied for third all-time
in Sacramento State history with eight career assists.
Feria took a medical redshirt last season with an injured
quadriceps but was a starter in both 1997 and '98 for the Hornets.
Clabaugh, who played in all but one game last season could wind up a
starter in the middle.
Also returning to the midfield is junior Naomi Ennis who played
nine games last season and was an all-Big Sky Academic selection. Redshirt
freshman Katie DeClercq, who sat out last year with a knee injury, will
probably miss the first half of the season recovering from the injury.
Two freshmen (Karalee Narimatsu and Tiffany Colen) and two
transfers (Brittany Hijlkema and Summer Douglas) round out the long list of
midfielders. Douglas, who played the last two seasons for conference-foe
Portland State, is arguable the fastest player on the team next to Casey.
Hijlkema played two seasons at American River College in 1997 and '98 where
she was a second team all-Bay Valley Conference selection as a sophomore.
The list of defenders on this year's squad includes senior Kiley
Van Orman and junior Mattea Stanger. Van Orman, who was shifted in the
offseason to the backline after playing the previous two seasons as a
forward, had a great spring and will start at outside back. Stanger started
all but one game last year while recording an assist and will assume her
starting role again in 2000.
Three freshmen (Amber Dragomir, Marisa Mercado and Stacey Rowell)
round out the list of defenders. All three were all-conference selections
at their respective high schools during their senior seasons. Although the
list of defenders on the roster is thin, there are plenty of players who
can switch positions and not miss a beat.
"Our players understand the rules of other positions and they can
step in and fill them with relative ease," Asimos said. "That helped our
team a lot last year when we were battling various injuries."