WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William and Mary women's soccer team had an outstanding
2011 campaign, capturing the College's 10th Colonial Athletic Association crown
and extending its own NCAA record with a 31st-consecutive winning season. With the majority of that record-breaking
squad back this fall and a highly-talented freshman class joining the field,
head coach John Daly will look to see his team take the next step and challenge
for a place in the national spotlight in 2012.
Head Coach John Daly: "The Tribe enters the season with a combination of experience, talent and youth. With a challenging schedule, the emphasis will be on making a good start and developing a settled starting line up with the necessary cover to handle a nineteen game schedule agasint some nationally ranked opponents. The conference will be tough with strong competition for the automatic berth to the NCAA tournament."
The striking duo of senior Erin Liberatore and sophomore Emory Camper headline a potent attack for the Green and Gold. Last season, the two combined for 12 goals, 11 assists and 35 points.
Liberatore tallied five goals and four assists in 19 starts in 2011, and she will once again be relied upon for her ability to put the ball in the net. Camper will look to build on a successful freshman campaign that saw the Virginia Beach, Va., native garner all-rookie acclaim while scoring seven goals and seven assists.
Junior Audrey Barry will start up front. In 2011, Barry registered two goals and two assists. Talented junior Dani Rutter will also bring production to the forward position. A year ago the York, Pa., native started all 22 matches for the Green and Gold and led the Tribe with 11 assists while putting through seven goals to earn All-CAA second-team accolades
Sophomore Anna Madden will contribute on the front line. Last season, Madden netted three goals and six assists. The College will also rely on efficient junior Lauren Gough. As a freshman in 2010, Gough made 12 starts for W&M, tallying two goals and an assist. Newcomers to the front line include freshmen Samantha Cordum, Katie Johnston and Leci Irvin.
Senior captain Mallory Schaffer and classmate Cortlyn Bristol headline the College's exceptional midfield play. Last season, Schaffer was selected to the NSCAA All-America first-team, and was also named the CAA Player of the Year as she led the Green and Gold in points (40), goals (17), and game-winning scores (6). Picked as the CAA preseason Player of the Year, Schaffer will start her senior campaign on the Hermann Trophy watch list for the second consecutive season.
In 2011, Bristol netted seven goals and nine assists on her way to a spot on the All-CAA first-team. Sophomore Aly Shaughnessy started 19-of-22 matches last season, and gives W&M consistency at midfield. Steady sophomore Taylor Dyson appeared in 20 matches last season, as she provides stability in the middle. Freshman Barbara Platenberg will look to make an impact as the Fairfax Station Va., native was a Washington Post All-Metro selection her senior year at Robinson High School.
As a unit last fall, the Tribe backfield held the opposition to 0.77 goals per game and a season total of 22 assists. With all but one player returning to the line, the 2012 edition looks to maintain or even improve on those totals, led by junior Tara Connors. Last season, the Dallas, Penn., native started all 22 matches and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the CAA tournament.
A seasoned veteran, senior Kiersten Harpe will provide leadership and productivity for the Tribe's backline. In her three season's prior, Harpe has made 45 career starts, which included 18 in 2011.
Sophomore Emily Fredrikson was a revelation as a freshman in 2011, frequently drawing the opposition's toughest player and shutting her down. Her efforts were rewarded with a spot on the All-CAA second team, and she'll be counted on once again to meet her own high standard of play. Junior Ali Heck and sophomore Christina Popps will both look to expand their roles after solid reserve performances in 2011, while freshmen Ashley Booth and Jessie Sells look to add to the mix.
In goal, the Tribe will look to fill the void left by Katherine Yount (0.86 GAA, started all 22 matches) with a trio of highly-talented and dynamic keepers. Senior Carla Manger is the most experienced, having been in the program four years. While only seeing game time in two matches, Manger has great familiarity with the W&M system and will look to translate that into playing time in her final campaign.
Sophomore Jane Aman and freshman Caroline Casey will compete with Manger for the starting nod.
As the unanimous pick to repeat as CAA Champions in 2012, the Tribe will open the 2012 season on Friday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m. as it welcomes preseason No. 2-ranked Duke University to Martin-Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field. Coming off a CAA Championship and a NCAA tournament appearance in 2011, the Tribe squares-off with one of the nation's top programs. Last season, Duke made the NCAA Tournament title match.