WSOC Heads to Villanova Tournament
Courtesy: Seton Hall Athletic Communications
LA SALLE SERIES NOTES
Seton Hall will rekindle an old rivalry when it meets LaSalle on Friday. The Pirates and Explorers met for 10 consecutive years stemming from the inception of the SHU program in 1994, but have not met since. SHU has won six of the previous encounters against only two losses in the series, but the teams split their last five games 2-2-1.
WILLIAM & MARY SERIES NOTES
12 years have past since the Pirates has squared off against William & Mary as the teams will meet for just the second time ever this weekend. Seton Hall will look to get on the board for the first time against W&M, having suffered a 3-0 road defeat in its only previous crack at taking down the Tribe.
CLARKE'S THE SPARK
Ashley Clarke continued to cause headaches for opposing defenses last week, scoring her second game-winning goal of the year in an overtime win over Delaware. Clarke is now the Pirates leading scorer with seven points as she is tied for the team-lead with two goals and has dished out a team-high three assists. She also ranks among the top-10 in the conference in five offensive categories.
On the heels of wins over Monmouth and Delaware, Seton Hall landed two players on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (9.3). Ashley Clarke was joined by senior defender Taylor Mims in receiving the honor. Clarke tallied four points in the two matches and Mims has asserted herself as a defensive stalwart in 2012, playing every minute for a Pirate defense that has yielded only two scores in six matches thus far.
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.
After extending their season-opening win streak to five with home victories over Delaware and Monmouth, the Pirates have climbed to seventh in the most recent NSCAA Northeast Region poll. SHU jumped three slots in the third installment of the poll after first cracking the rankings in week two, coming in as the #10 team in the region.
HISTORY AT THE HALL
Now in its 19th year, Seton Hall got off to the best start in program history, recording wins in their first five contests for the first time. It was also just the second time the Pirates have remained unbeaten through their first five contests. In 1998, SHU posted a 4-0-1 start before suffering the first setback of the season.
0H S0 G00D
The Hall left each of their opponents with a 0 on the board as their scoreless streak to start the year reached a record mark of four-staight matches. With the 3-0 shutout win against Monmouth (8.28), the Pirates surpassed the previous high mark of three-straight clean sheets to start a season which had previously been achieved twice, first in 1996 and again in 2004.
D'YONNA GETS DEFENSIVE
Freshman D'Yonna Riley has quickly established herself as an imposing force on the Pirates' backline, playing all 90 minutes in each of the four shutouts SHU has posted to start 2012. Riley, who also tallied her first career point with an assist in the win at Lehigh, was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week (8.27) for her efforts.
KELLY SHINES IN DEBUT
The Monmouth match also marked the first appearance in the SHU net for transfer Alyssa Kelly. Kelly, graduate student who joined the Pirates after playing three years at Vermont, she followed three-straight shutouts by freshman Gina Maiorana with a clean sheet of her own, making six saves to keep the Hawks at bay.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
In addition to their defensive exploits, the Pirates have utilized a balanced attack to support their recent winning ways. Seven different players have combined to account for SHU's 10 goals through six matches. Midfielders Ashley Clarke, Marie Klemme and Kristina Meier lead the way with two goals apiece. The Pirates have also tallied 12 assists so far, tied for the second highest total in the BIG EAST.
A pair of Pirates recorded landmark achievements in contributing to wins over Lehigh and Monmouth last week. Junior midfielder Marie Klemme made her first goal as a Pirate a game-winner with a second half score at Lehigh. Sophomore Angie Shehaj also scored for the first time in her collegiate career, putting the result out of question by adding the Pirates third against Monmouth.
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.
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 28 points and is tied for sixth with 13 goals. After notching an assist against Monmouth (8.28), she needs just one point 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.
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.