High Expectations for 2008
Aug. 12, 2008
The Fresno State women's soccer program continues to be among the top contenders in the Western Athletic Conference. The 2007 season was proof that the Bulldogs belong atop the conference as they advanced to the conference tournament championship for the third straight year. In 2008 the Bulldogs will work towards a WAC championship.
"Last season was close. It was a challenge for us against Hawai'i in the WAC championship," said Head Coach Steve Springthorpe. "Having a good core of returning players with experience helps with the loss of eight seniors."
The Bulldogs lost eight seniors last season but Springthorpe is confident in returning the core of his lineup, which includes senior midfielder Ali Sill, senior defender Selena Gill, sophomore goalkeeper Katy Revel, and senior forward Nicole Gutierrez.
"We have experience in the middle of the field," said Springthorpe. "The core of our lineup is relatively young, but has a lot of experience after last season. These seniors were our first recruiting class and they have done a lot for the program."
Fresno State will look to seniors and captains, Gill, Sill, and Gutierrez for leadership on and off the field in their final season with the Bulldogs.
"With a relatively young team and eight freshmen, we will look to the seniors for leadership," said Springthorpe.
Along with the return of the four All-WAC Bulldogs, Springthorpe is excited about the addition of eight freshmen.
"The freshmen bring class and versatility to the field," said Springthorpe. "I am excited about what they bring to the team and what they will accomplish at Fresno State."
Along with the seniors, sophomores Bradlee DeShane, Lauren Satterlee, and Krissy Looney will spring into action. Each played in games in the 2007 season gaining experience needed to help the Bulldogs succeed in the upcoming season.
Revel, an All-WAC selection as a freshman, is expected to pick up where she left off last season. Revel had an amazing season in her first year with the Bulldogs earning the starting spot in the goal in the 2007 season. Revel recorded 71 saves, allowed only16 goals and had a league best nine shut outs.
"Revel is another core player and all-conference player, we look forward to her returning this season," said Springthorpe.
Challenging Revel for playing time in goal will be sophomore Chrissy Smith.
Gill aided the Bulldog defense in 10 shutouts last season. Joining Gill in the backfield will be returner DeShane.
"Bradlee started two-thirds of the season last year," said Springthorpe, "She brings experience to the left back position."
"The sophomores bring experience to the table," said Springthorpe. "We will be looking for the freshman to challenge for the defensive spots that are open and add depth to the position."
Leading the center of the field in the 2008 season will be Sill, a three-time All-WAC selection who led Fresno State with a single season school record nine assists last year. The Bulldog captain also had four goals and 38 shots in the 2007 season.
"Sill will start at center midfield, which is a plus for us," said Springthorpe. "She is a three time all-conference player and was the assist leader for last season."
Also expected to play significant time in the midfield is sophomores Looney and Satterlee.
Both, Looney and Satterlee gained experience in the middle of field as starters and reserve layers, Looney had an assist and seven shots. Satterlee had an assist and nine shots during the 2007 season.
Along with Looney and Satterlee, looking to earn minutes in the midfield will be Ally Ventura and Alex Jensen.
"The sophomores have worked hard through spring games to improve and bring experience to the young team," said Springthorpe.
"Megan is a smart player, who can distribute the ball well," said Springthorpe. "Kendall brings versatility to the roster, and she can play anywhere and score, while Hannah is fast and fit and will be a threat to any defense."
Fresno State will feel the impact of losing Amanda Reyes, but still has leading scorer Nicole Gutierrez. Gutierrez, a two-time Second Team All-WAC selection played in all 21 games in the 2007 season and scored 10 goals and 61 shots.
The captain brings experience and leadership to the frontline for Fresno State.
Laura Dodd will challenge the returners for playing time at the forward position.
The Bulldogs take on Fresno Pacific in an exhibition match on Aug. 16th at 7 p.m. in Bulldog Stadium.
"Join the State, Fresno State!" Bulldog Soccer opens the 2008 season with an exhibition match against cross-town rival Fresno Pacific on Saturday, August 16th at 7:00 pm in Bulldog Stadium. Be sure to purchase your Family and Friends Flex Pack which includes 40 general admission tickets (4 for each home game) to be used as you please for $89 by logging on to www.gobulldogs.com and visiting the tickets page, calling the Bulldog Ticket Office at (559) 278-DOGS, or stopping by the Bulldog Ticket Office.