Women’s Soccer Set to Kick-Off Season This Saturday

Chestnut Hill, MA – Pine Manor College Women’s Soccer will open its 2013 campaign this Saturday when the Gators host the Daniel Webster College Eagles at 1:00 PM at Hedley Field. After splitting a pair of contests with the Eagles last season, the Gators are looking to open the year on high note in the only matchup between the teams this year.

Following a one win campaign in 2011, the Gators recorded a pair of victories in 2012— to go along with three one-goal losses. This season Head Coach Ashley Bernstein returns a four member senior class, along with sophomore leading scorer, Sybil Lynch (Hoboken, NJ), in the hopes of continuing to build a successful program at PMC.

For the Gators, an improvement in their overall record likely begins with the play of Lynch. The 2013 PMC Athlete of the Year, Lynch scored 9 goals in 13 games including the game winning goal in both of the Gators’ victories last season. Lynch’s best game of the season came against Daniel Webster, as she recorded her first career collegiate hat-trick to lead PMC to a 3-1 victory in Nashua, NH on September 13 of last year.

“Obviously, we have even higher expectations for Sybil this season coming off of what she was able to accomplish last year, said Bernstein. “ We want her to take command of the offense this season and help to get the new players involved. As an upperclassman we are not only looking for her to score goals but to provide leadership as well.”

Lynch will likely be joined up top in the Gator formation by freshman Adrienne Mojica. Mojica is one of six newcomers, including four freshman and two sophomores, to the roster this season, each of whom will be expected to contribute from day one. Along with Mojica at forward, Bernstein is expecting other first-year players to contribute on offense by providing scoring from midfield.

Cathryn White (Douglas, MA), Deborah Thomas and Pamela Acosta (Lawrence, MA) will all see time at different midfield positions throughout the season as Bernstein searches for the right lineup to fit the Gators’ system.

“Our first-year players give us options in the midfield given the mix of speed and aggressiveness we have,” notes Bernstein. “I think they are really going to solidify our midfield play this year and take some of the pressure off of our upperclassman.”

Seniors Amanda Powell (Lumberton, NJ) and Christina Warnke (Livermore, CA) will be called on to lead the midfield while also supplementing the Gators attack. Both players finished last season with a goal apiece despite Powell putting 23 shots on goal and Warnke recording 22 shots of her own. Moving into the 2013 season, Bernstein has stressed the importance of converting those opportunities into goals both to help add to the Gators’ attack and to take some pressure off the back line.

“I was pleased with the number of opportunities on goal that we got last season,” said Bernstein. “But, it would be nice to see more of those shots end up in the back of the net.”

Should the Gators find themselves in a tight contest, Bernstein will no doubt continue to rely on senior goalkeeper Natasha Kopystynsky (Johnsburg, IL). A three year starter for the Gators, Kopystynsky has amassed a staggering 453 saves and one shutout over her career in Chestnut Hill.

After the graduation of senior sweeper Margaret Roberts (Allentown, PA) it will be the job of Kopystynsky and senior Tamara Sakala (Lusaka, Zambia) to stabilize a Gator defense comprised entirely of new comers.

Sakala locked down a spot on defense last season, thanks to her consistent and reliable play. She will be the only returner on the back line for the Gators. However, Bernstein still sees the defense as an area of strength for the team.

“Based on what we’ve seen in the preseason, I think Amanda Silva (Taunton, MA) and Meagan Badohu (Boston, MA) are going to be key contributors on defense for us. I like the way the defensive unit is coming together as a whole,” notes Bernstein. “For that matter, I like the way our team is coming together.”

After playing host to Daniel Webster, the Gators will welcome Fisher College on September 3, 2013 before heading to Becker College on September 7 to take on Becker. The 2013 schedule includes a total of 15 contests including an end of the season road trip to take on Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC) foe Trinity Washington in Washington, DC.

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