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Amherst College > Athletics > Women's Soccer > 2002 Season Preview
Katharine Shipley '03
Senior co-captain Katharine Shipley is a leading candidtate for All-American

Women's Soccer Set for Another Title Run

August 8, 2002

2001 Recap
Entering the season as defending ECAC Champions and with a tournament-tested team of experienced veterans in tow, the Amherst women's soccer team had high hopes for 2001, but no one could have foreseen the roller-coaster ride that was about to unfold. After starting the season with four straight wins, including conference victories over Colby, Bates and Connecticut Colleges, the Jeffs dropped four of their next seven games, due in large part to junior Brooke Diamond's absence at goalkeeper. Senior tri-captain Hallison Putnam filled in admirably, but it was Diamond's return from mononucleosis (and Putnam's subsequent return to the midfield) that seemed to re-ignite the spark for Amherst. Behind rapid-fire scoring from senior All-American tri-captain Cathy Poor and first-year phenom Tracy Montigny, and the stingy defense of junior Katharine Shipley and senior tri-captain Margaret Rubin, the rejuvenated Jeffs embarked on a 10-game winning streak that saw them buzz through the NESCAC Tournament (including a thrilling double-overtime victory over archrival Williams College in the championship game) and the NCAA New England Regional, all the way to their first-ever NCAA Championship game. Amherst fell just one victory shy of winning the national championship, bowing to Ohio Wesleyan University in the Division III title game but, nevertheless, still finished with a school-record 16 wins and a No. 2 national ranking quite an achievement for NSCAA/Adidas New England Coach of the Year Michelle Morgan.

Key Losses
The Jeffs will have sizeable shoes to fill with the departure of tri-captains Poor, Putnam and Rubin, who helped lead the team to a stellar 46-15-9 record over four seasons. Poor is one of the best players in school history, graduating as the college's all-time leading scorer and earning a bevy of postseason accolades, including First-Team All-America, First-Team Academic All-America, NESCAC Player of the Year, and Most Outstanding Offensive Player at the 2001 NCAA Tournament. Putnam, a Second-Team All-NESCAC selection, will be similarly missed for her size and ability to play several different positions, as will Rubin, a Second-Team All-New England and NCAA All-Tournament selection.

Key Returnees
The Jeffs will once again be strong on defense, with co-captains Shipley and Diamond anchoring a unit that allowed just 20 goals in 22 games last season. Shipley is one of the best defenders in the nation and a strong candidate for All-America plaudits after earning All-NESCAC, All-Region and NCAA All-Tournament honors as a junior. Diamond was voted First-Team All-Region and District 1 All-Academic while leading the NESCAC with a minuscule 0.73 goals against average, despite playing an abbreviated season. Sophomore Mary Sarro-Waite also stepped in and had a strong rookie campaign. Offensively, Amherst returns three of its top four scorers from 2001 sophomores Montigny (11 goals, five assists) and Lee-Jay Henry (six goals, four assists) and junior Jenny Rossman (three goals, 10 assists). Sophomore Adrienne Showler excelled at striker as a rookie but may eventually move to the midfield, joining another key returnee, junior Sara Elkins. Fellow juniors Kay Bradley and Alexa Lawson-Remer have worked extremely hard in the off-season and look to be major contributors as well.

The Jeffs will be tested early and often, starting with their season-, NESCAC-, and home-opener against Connecticut College on Sunday, September 8 the first of five consecutive home dates. In addition to a demanding nine-game conference slate that includes a home matchup against traditional rival Williams on Saturday, October 26, Amherst will take on five non-league opponents, highlighted by an October 2 road rematch with Wheaton College, whom the Jeffs downed 4-1 in last year's NCAA Regional Semifinal. The regular season will be capped by the third installment of the NESCAC Postseason Championship Tournament, which is set to kick off on Sunday, November 3.