SHU Women's Soccer Weekly Release
Courtesy: Seton Hall Athletic Communications
LEHIGH SERIES NOTES
The Pirates have played Lehigh just four times in their history with Seton Hall holding a 2-1-1 edge all-time against the Mountain Hawks. Katie Ritter scored a first-half goal in a 1-1 tie last season in South Orange, which was the first meeting between the two teams since 2002.
MONMOUTH SERIES NOTES
Seton Hall leads the all-time series with Monmouth 11-3-3 and the Pirates have won two-straight games against the Hawks and are unbeaten in the last four. Katie Ritter scored the game-winner in a 1-0 win at Monmouth last season. Jennifer Pettigew made three saves to earn a shutout.
MAIORANA IN RARE FORM
Freshman goalkeeper Gina Maiorana recorded back-to-back shutouts to start the 2012 season, making her just the second freshman in program history to start the season with consecutive clean sheets. The only other time it happened was in 1995 when Stacey Nagle recorded two shutout victories to start the year. She went on to earn First-Team All-BIG EAST honors.
Seton Hall started the season with two-straight shutouts for the first time since 2004 when the Pirates blanked three-straight opponents to open a new season. The last time SHU posted consecutive shutout victories to open the year was 1996.
Seton Hall is receiving votes in the first National Soccer Coaches Association of America Northeast Regional Rankings. The NSCAA ranks 10 teams in the Northeast Region with the Pirates and fellow BIG EAST member Cincinnati sitting just outside of the list.
Offensive opportunities have been plentiful for Seton Hall through the first two games of the season. SHU has fired 34 shots, the second most by a BIG EAST team so far this year. Last season SHU ranked seventh in the conference in shot attempts.
Senior forward Stephanie Soma did it all in the Pirates' 2-0 season-opening win over LIU Brooklyn on Aug. 17. She scored the game-winner in the first half, and added an assist on junior Amie Ruhe's goal in the 73rd minute. For her efforts in the win she was tabbed as the SHUPirates.com Athlete of the Week.
Junior midfielder Ashley Clarke was tenacious offensively in the Pirates' 1-0 win over Iona College on Aug. 20. She scored the game-winner in the 30th minute and finished the game with a career-high six total shots, three of which were on net.
OFF TO A HOT START
Seton Hall defeated LIU Brooklyn and Iona to jump out to a 2-0 start to the season. It is the second year in a row the Pirates have won their first two games and the eighth time in program history. The last time The Hall won three-straight games to start a season was 1998.
The defensive effort in Seton Hall's 1-0 win against Iona left the Gaels without many quality scoring chances as the Pirates limited them to just four total shot attempts, none of which were on net.
The Pirates have experience a fair amount of success in their season and home opening games through the years. Seton Hall is 12-6-1 all-time in season openers and 14-4-1 all-time in home openers. This year, the Pirates kicked off the season with a 2-0 home victory over LIU Brooklyn.
Seton Hall finished last season with a 9-8-3 overall record, advancing to the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament. The Pirates achieved a number of milestones last year:
• Seton Hall's nine victories were the most for the program since 1999.
• SHU finished fourth in the BIG EAST National Division with a 4-6-1 overall record, qualifying for the BIG EAST Tournament for the first time since 2006.
• The Pirates defeated St. John's, 1-0, in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament for their first postseason win since 1999.
• Senior Taylor Wilson and sophomore Katie Ritter each earned Third-Team All-BIG EAST honors, marking the first time since 1999 Seton Hall saw a pair of student-athletes receive all-conference accolades.
ALL EYES ON RITTER
Seton Hall junior forward Katie Ritter was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com BIG EAST Preseason Top-20 watch list. After leading the Pirates in scoring with six goals last season, Ritter earned Third-Team All-BIG EAST honors. TopDrawerSoccer ranked her as the No. 16 player in the BIG EAST Conference and the No. 5 forward.
SHEHAJ THE WORLD TRAVELER
Seton Hall sophomore Angie Shehaj got some international playing experience under her belt when she played a pair of exhibition games with the Albanian National Team during the offseason. Shehaj, who was born in Albania and moved to the United States when she was five, suited up for her national team against Macedonia and Montenegro last May. For SHU last season, she saw action in 13 games and ranked second in the team with three assists.
TOUGH NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Seton Hall head coach Kazbek Tambi put together a number of early season tests for his squad as they prepare for BIG EAST play. Four of Seton Hall's eight non-conference foes were NCAA Tournament teams last year: LIU Brooklyn, William & Mary, La Salle and Army.
SHU FACES FORDHAM IN EXHIBITION
Seton Hall fell to Fordham, 3-1, in an exhibition contest on Saturday, Aug. 11, in South Orange. Freshman Christie Cherup scored for the Pirates in the 46th minute, with junior midfielder Amie Ruhe picking up the assist.
CLIMBING THE ALL-TIME RANKS
Junior forward Katie Ritter is steadily climbing up the Seton Hall career ranks in points and goals scored. She currently sits in 10th place in school history with 27 points and is tied for sixth with 13 goals. She needs two points to tie Katie Andreski for ninth all-time and is one goal away from moving into a tie for fifth place with Rita Massot.
KEEPING GOOD COMPANY
Junior forward Katie Ritter earned Third-Team All-BIG EAST accolades following her sophomore season, after being named to the conference's All-Rookie Team in 2010. She is just the second player in program history to go on to earn All-Conference recognition after being named to the All-Rookie Team; the only other is SHU Hall of Famer Kelly Smith.
KEEPING BUSY OVER THE SUMMER
The Pirates saw several of its student-athletes play for the USL W-League this summer. Senior Cristina Barthel, senior Taylor Mims, junior Ashley Clarke, junior Meghan Hayes and assistant coach Christina Reuter all competed during the offseason. Clarke scored seven goals to go along with four assists for the North Jersey Valkyries to earn All-Eastern Conference honors. Additionally, junior Amie Ruhe played for the Maryland Capitals in the WPSL.
HALL ADDS TRANSFER IN NET
Seton Hall welcomes graduate student Alyssa Kelly to South Orange for the 2012 season. Kelly, a New Jersey native, played for three seasons at the University of Vermont before graduating last spring with a business administration degree. She started in 16 contests during her sophomore season at Vermont, stopping 109 shots, the ninth-highest single-season total in school history.
PETTIGREW COVERING THE RECORD BOOKS
Senior goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew's name is already all over the SHU all-time career leader lists. She ranks fourth all-time in saves (183), fifth in goals against average (1.63), fifth in shutouts (six) and fourth in goalkeeper minutes played (3,858).
BIG EAST PRESEASON POLL
Seton Hall was picked to finish sixth in the National Division in the 2012 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Pirates,who return nine starters and 18 letterwinners from last year's squad, finished fourth in the division last season with a 4-6-1 record.
CLASS OF 2016
Head coach Kazbek Tambi and the women's soccer program brought in six freshman this offseason to make up the Class of 2016. Joining the Pirates on the field this fall will be goalkeeper Gina Maiorana (Street, Md.), defender Melissa Blevins (Laurel Springs, N.J.), forward Christie Cherup (Wayne, N.J.), defender Emily Hansinger (Mount Laurel, N.J.), defender D'Yonna Riley (Washingtonville, N.Y.) and defender Alexis Urbanski (Aberdeen, N.J.).
FUTURE HALL OF FAMER
Assistant coach Rick Stainton is getting ready to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Stainton, who played collegiate soccer at Green Mountain College, will be inducted into his alma mater's athletic Hall of Fame on Friday, Sept. 28.
NEW ASSISTANT COACH
Seton Hall added a new volunteer assistant coach during this offseason in former SHU men's soccer standout Jerrod Laventure. Laventure, who suited up for the Pirates from 2001-04, was a First-Team All-BIG EAST selection and an NSCAA All-American. Following his collegiate career he played for the NY/NJ MetroStars in the MLS.
2012 BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP
The 2012 BIG EAST Women's Soccer Championship will be hosted Friday and Sunday, Nov. 2 & 4, at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium on the campus of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. BIG EAST Tournament first round action will take place at campus sites on Thursday, Oct. 25, and the quarterfinals will be played on Sunday, Oct. 28.