WSOC Prepares for BIG EAST Weekend
Courtesy: Seton Hall Athletic Communications
MARQUETTE SERIES NOTES
• Seton Hall will be seeking its first-ever win over Marquette as the schools meet for just the third time.
• The Golden Eagles only previous visit to Owen T. Carroll Field ended in a 1-1 draw during the 2006 season.
• Marquette is the first ranked opponent that the Pirates will face this year.
USF SERIES NOTES
• The Pirates and Bulls have split the previous two meetings, 1-1.
• When the teams last met nearly three years ago, USF edged SHU, 1-0, in Tampa.
• Seton Hall comfortably came out on top, 4-1, the last time the Bulls came to South Orange (9.29.06).
ON THE DOUBLE
Stephanie Soma came off the bench to provide instant offense for the Pirates against Villanova, doubling her delight by accounting for both goals in the 2-0 victory. After the first multi-goal performance of her career, she was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll (9.17). Soma enters the weekend as SHU's leading scorer with four goals this season and is just two points and two goals shy of cracking the school's all-time top-10 list for each category.
PICKING ‘EM OUT
Junior midfielder Ashley Clarke has proven a knack for finding her teammates in goal scoring position. With a team-high six assists so far in 2012, she ranks fourth on the program's all-time single-season list, just two shy of the Kelly Smith's record. Her career tally now sits at 10 assists, matching the fifth highest total in Seton Hall history. Additionally, her six assists currently are tied for eighth-most in the NCAA, only three off the national lead.
Junior forward Katie Ritter is steadily climbing up the Seton Hall career ranks in points and goals scored. She recently moved into a tie for ninth place in school history with 29 points by virtue of an assist on the game-winnig goal against Villanova (9.16). She is also tied for sixth all-time with 13 goals to her credit. She is now just one strike of the ball away from moving into a tie for fifth place with Rita Massot on the goal-scoring list and matching Andrea Scannapieco for the eighth highest career point total.
The Pirates have been right at home playing at Owen T. Carroll Field this season. Through five matches, SHU has posted a perfect 5-0 home record, outscoring visitors 10-1 and posting four shutouts.
VIEW FROM THE FRONT
Seton Hall has had no problem playing with a lead this season, winning five of six matches in which they struck first on the scoreboard. Only La Salle has come back to defeat the Pirates this season, spoiling an early goal from Stephanie Soma who had given SHU the advantage just two minutes into the action.
SECOND CRACK AT #21
When the whistle blows on Friday night against Marquette, it will mark the second time that Seton Hall has taken on the nation's #21 team in school history. On the only previous such occasion, SHU fell 5-0 on the road to Penn State in what was the program's third year of existence.
CLARKE AND RUHE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Junior midfielders Ashley Clarke and Amie Ruhe were named to the Villanova Classic All-Tournament Team on Sept. 10. Clarke registered her team-leading fifth assist of the year on a Stephanie Soma goal against La Salle on Sept. 7, while Ruhe started at midfield in both games of the tournament, playing a full 90 minutes against William & Mary.
HAVING A BREAK THROUGH
Junior midfielder Marie Klemme is having a breakout season offensively for Seton Hall. Entering the 2012 season with one point from an assist during her freshman campaign, she currently ranks third on the team with eight points (three goals, two assists). She has scored a point in five of her ten games played this year.
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 yielded just one goal in the two matches.
TOUGH NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Seton Hall head coach Kazbek Tambi put together a number of early season tests for his squad as they prepared 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.
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-straight 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 in 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
Thus far this season, the Pirates have utilized a balanced attack to support their offensive effort. Seven different players have combined to account for SHU's 14 goals through ten matches. Senior forward Stephanie Soma has found the back of the net four times to lead the squad. Marie Klemme has emerged to score three times while Ashley Clarke and Kristina Meier have two apiece. The Pirates have also tallied 18 assists so far, tied for the fourth highest total in the BIG EAST.
A pair of Pirates recorded landmark achievements in contributing to wins over Lehigh and Monmouth. 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.
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.