Aug. 19, 2005
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
The Providence College women's soccer team enters the 2005 season under the leadership of Jim McGirr, who was named the program's eighth head coach on July 11, 2005. McGirr has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Villanova, where he helped the Wildcats advance to the 2003 and 2004 NCAA Tournaments as well as earn a spot in the national rankings. With the Friars, McGirr hopes to improve on last year's 5-13-0 campaign.
With just two seniors on the roster, Providence will be a young team looking to make an impact in the highly competitive BIG EAST Conference. Led by senior Kathryn Mahoney (Narragansett, R.I.), the Friar attack is faced with the difficult task of replacing last season's top five producers. The loss of this talent opens up a number of starting positions in the front field.
Starting with Mahoney, who provided an offensive spark in 2004, Providence will have many players vying for starting roles. Sophomore Danielle Wieneke (Plattsburgh, N.Y.), who saw action in 17 games and added two assists as a freshman, will look to build on her experience and become a key offensive contributor, while freshmen Victoria Neff (Fairfield, Conn.) and Kelly Pettersen (Massapequa, N.Y.) should prove to make an immediate impact. In her last two years at Fairfield Warde High School, Neff was named an All-Division, All-State, and All-New England selection and placed her name atop the school's career goals list (53). Pettersen, an All-League selection in 2003 and 2004, comes to Providence after playing on five State Cup Championship teams as well as the 2003 ODP-SLY National Championship team.
Providence's midfield will be a composed of a young but versatile group of players able to contribute both offensively and defensively. Junior Erin Mastrodonato (Rochester, N.Y.), who started in 17 of the team's 18 games in 2004, will provide both leadership and stability, while sophomores Amanda Klane (North Easton, Mass.), Morgan Spatafore (Katonah, N.Y.) and Kelsey Kirkpatrick (Hatboro, Pa.) will look to establish more permanent roles in the Friar lineup. PC also will rely on freshman Kimberly Pine (Fairfield, Conn.), who tallied 10 goals and 13 assists for Fairfield Warde, after transitioning from defense to the midfield her senior year.
The Friar's backfield should prove to be the squad's source of strength in 2005. Led by junior captain Leah Vieira (Rochester, N.Y.) and sophomore Lauren Vecchione (Sudbury, Mass.), Providence will look to shut down opponents in front of the net. In two previous seasons as a Friar, Vieira started all 35 games and added four points (one goal, two assists). Vecchione, who enters her second season at PC, started all 18 games last season and recorded one assist. Sophomores Ashley Amaral (Cumberland, R.I.) and Leigh Paris (Newton Lower Falls, Mass.) also will add depth to the back line, as they compete for starting positions. In 13 appearances last season, Amaral netted one goal.
Freshmen Kelly Determan (San Diego, Calif.), Megan Mancarella (Rochester, N.Y.), and Christie Gent (Plantation, Fla.) also will add depth to the 2005 squad. A member of the 2001-2004 Western League Championship team and the 2002-2004 CIF Championship team, Determan comes to Providence after earning four varsity letters at the University of San Diego High School. Mancarella, who holds six Greece Athena records, including goals in a season/career, assists in a season/career, and total points in a season/career, is expected to add an offensive flair to an already solid defensive line. Finally Gent, who led her team to '04 and '05 state titles by scoring overtime shootout goals, brings with her the experience of playing at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, where her 2004 team was ranked #1 in the nation by the NSCAA.
Providence will be solid in net as its trio of goalkeepers, senior Caitlin Pickul (North Andover, Mass.) and sophomores Laura Elfers (Lincroft, N.J.) and Ashley Fedyshyn (Deer Park, N.Y.), all return and add depth between the posts. Both Elfers and Fedyshyn were key contributors in Providence's 2004 campaign. Elfers appeared in eight games and registered 48 saves, while Fedyshyn saw action in 13 games and registered a 1.76 goals against average to go along with a .793 save percentage.