The Fredonia State women's soccer team opens its 2013 season Saturday against Christopher Newport at Virginia Beach, Va., as part of the Virginia Wesleyan Marlin Classic.
It'll be the first-ever meeting between the Blue Devils and the Captains, a NCAA Division III school located in Newport News, Va., and a member of the Capital Athletic Conference. Game time is 3 p.m.
The Blue Devils will also meet another first-time opponent in Virginia Wesleyan at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Marlins, members of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, are ranked in two pre-season polls: No. 8 in the relatively new Bennett Rankings, and No. 25 in the more-established National Soccer Coaches Association of American/Continental Tire poll.
Photo Courtesy of Fredonia State University
Pictured are the Fredonia Blue Devils’ women’s soccer team.
The Bennett Rankings, which are determined using a computer-based system, ranks Fredonia State at No. 62 among 432 NCAA Division III women's teams. Christopher Newport is ranked No. 165.
The Blue Devils head into the 2013 season minus their top two scorers last season.
Last year's leading scorer was Katie Kleine, with nine goals (three game-winners) and seven assists and a total of 25 points. In addition to All-SUNYAC recognition, Kleine was named Second Team All-East Region by the NSCAA. However, an injury sustained during the women's lacrosse season last spring will keep her from competing this fall. She hopes to be back for the 2014 women's lacrosse season and will retain one season of women's soccer eligibility.
Meanwhile, graduation claimed all-time leading scorer Reilly Condidorio, whose four-season totals consisted of 43 goals and 104 points - school records in both categories. She had nine goals in 2012, including four game-winners, and finished with 22 points. Among the numerous post-season awards Condidorio earned was the program's first NSCAA All-American award, in 2011. She was a repeat Second Team All-American in 2012. She has joined the Blue Devil coaching staff in 2013. Kyle Marvin also returns as an assistant coach.
Other graduation losses were 2012 First Team All-SUNYAC goalkeeper Meaghan Meszaros and defender Madison Brown, a Third Team All-SUNYAC choice in 2011.
With Kleine out, the top returning players are seniors Kristi Putzig (Williamsville) and Shannon Letina (Clarence). Putzig, a forward, was third in scoring in 2012 with seven goals - three to win games - and 17 points. Letina, a defender, started all 17 games she appeared in. Both players were selected Third Team All-SUNYAC.
Also back are five players who were starters for at least half the 2012 season: senior midfielders Catie Hale, Maria Green and Mary Bruton; junior defender Maggie Horan and sophomore defender Sarah Lindovski. Hale was the top scorer among the quintet with two goals - both game-winners - and eight points.
Among Horan's 19 starts (in a total of 19 games) were two in goal as an emergency replacement when Meszaros went down with an injury. Letina could also step into goal should the need arise in 2013.
Bruton, Hale and Horan are the 2013 tri-captains.
The 28-player roster includes 14 freshmen. It's the largest freshmen class since the current seniors were at 13 strong in 2010, and it's the second time head coach Chris Case has welcomed this large a freshmen class. The only other time came in 2007.
Case enters the 2013 season with a 111-80-21 coaching record.
SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
The home portion of the season begins Sept. 6 vs. Penn State Behrend on the first day of the Blue Devil/Clarion Hotel Classic. The Blue Devils will also face Mount Union during the Classic, which concludes Sept. 7 and includes two games by the Blue Devil men.
The Virginia trip this weekend, the Clarion Classic, plus games vs. St. John Fisher and William Smith will give the Blue Devils six straight non-conference games at the start of their schedule. They will play three additional non-conference games, plus their normal nine-game SUNYAC schedule, beginning Sept. 27 at home vs. Brockport.
Other home SUNYAC opponents are Geneseo (Sept. 28), Buffalo State (Oct. 5), Potsdam (Oct. 18) and Plattsburgh (Oct. 19). The four SUNYAC road games are at Cortland (Oct. 11), at Oswego (Oct. 12), at New Paltz (Oct. 25) and at Oneonta (Oct. 26). The first round of the SUNYAC Tournament is scheduled to begin Nov. 2.