Converse Soccer begins the season Thursday August 25th at home against Lees-McRae at 6pm and ahead of this historic first CVAC game, Head Coach Shannon Rossley gives her perspective on what the team will face and hopes to achieve in the 2005 season.
On joining the CVAC Conference…This is a very exciting year for our program as we are joining one of the top Division II conferences in the country. We have a lot of new players who will experience four years of college soccer in this setting and we are excited to compete for a place in the conference tournament and the challenge we will face in every game.
On the pressure the five returners will face…We are looking for immediate leadership both on and off the field from the five returners. With only one senior we are looking for the underclassmen to take a role that most teams would look for from juniors and seniors. They are all very capable on the field and we know they will rise to the challenge of leading the younger players by example.
The newcomers that will have an immediate impact…We will be starting at least six players with no college soccer experience but they have all showed through pre-season that they have more than enough ability and maturity to step up. We have eleven new faces that will all play a major role in the direction we go this season and in the years to come.
The goalkeeping position…We have two new faces this year and both will contribute and push each other for the starting position during each game and practice. In Brandi Criscitiello (Maysville, NC) we have a superb athlete who also plays basketball at Converse and has tremendous shot-stopping ability. She will benefit from every game she plays and has the potential to be one of the top keepers in the conference. Freshman Kelly Pannochia (New Tazewell, TN) brings a wealth of experience from high school and has showed tremendous control of the goal box during practice and scrimmages. Goalkeeping will be one of our real strengths this season and will keep us in many tough CVAC games.
Defenders…We have some new faces at the back who bring speed and a physical presence that will be crucial against some of the excellent forwards in the CVAC. Sophomore Sarah Schiff (McConnells, SC) will anchor the backline and has shown great composure under pressure. Meredith Montroy (Pittsburgh, PA) is a freshman who has great potential and will be an ever-present for Converse this year.
We are lucky to have an experienced player like Samoria Roundtree (Shaw AFB, SC) who will solidify the back with her consistency and physical play. We will be looking for major contributions from Blake Hallman (York, SC) who has been impressing everyone early and newcomers Holly Seppala (Greenville, SC) and Kat Hutchings (Greenville, SC) who are adjusting to the system well and will be big players coming off the bench early in the season.
Midfield… This will be a real strength for us with a lot of creativity and athleticism available. Sam Chapman (Spartanburg, SC) is a great talent and the more play that goes through her on the field, the better off we will be. She will be supported by two freshmen in the midfield, Mallory Begley (Summerville, SC) and Brittnay Moreno (Seneca, SC). They are both great athletes with excellent stamina and discipline who will supply the speed we have up top. Another freshman, Jessica Weisgerber (Mill Springs, NC) will come in and do a good job in all situations because she is extremely fit and is learning the system quickly.
Forwards… This will be an important area this year and we have a good mixture of speed, strength and technical ability. In our two returning forwards Paige Kohler (Seneca, SC) and Ashley Carry (Amarillo, TX) we have great speed and two threats to score from outside the box. They will be a major source of goals this year and will be complimented well by newcomer Mendy Dillard (Enoree, SC). Mendy has great speed and makes very well-time