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Amherst College > Athletics > Women's Soccer > 2003 Season Preview
   
Sara Elkins '04
Senior tri-captain Sara Elkins

Women's Soccer Set for Another Title Run

September 3, 2003

2002 Recap
The Amherst women's soccer team overcame early season adversity and finished with an 8-4-2 regular season record (5-2-2 NESCAC). Misfortune struck early when senior co-captain Katharine Shipley suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason. Shipley had been tabbed as one of the best defenders in the country and was a candidate for All-America honors. This hardship left the Amherst backfield in disarray and head coach Michelle Morgan struggled to find an on-field combination that worked. "We just had to find a group that provided consistency for us," said Morgan. The team went 4-4 (2-2 NESCAC) during this stretch, earning Morgan her 200th career victory with a 2-0 win over Smith along the way. Once Morgan was comfortable with her starting defense, the team showed its true colors and went undefeated through the remainder of the regular season. The streak started with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Middlebury. "The Middlebury game was the key to our season," said Morgan. "The momentum from that game allowed us to finish strong." The Lord Jeffs' 4-0-2 record down the stretch earned them the number four seed in the NESCAC Postseason Championship Tournament and a first-round home game against Connecticut College. Unfortunately, Amherst's season ended with a 2-0 loss in the opening round, breaking their six-game streak.

Key Losses
The Lord Jeffs graduate the cornerstones of their defense, goalkeeper Brooke Diamond and defender Katharine Shipley. Diamond was a First-Team All-NESCAC selection, earned NESCAC All-Academic honors, was named to the Verizon/CoSIDA District 1 All-Academic team for the second straight season and finished fourth in the NESCAC in goals against average (1.06) and ninth in saves per game (5.14). Shipley, despite her senior year injury, was a former First-Team All-NESCAC selection, named 2001 Second-Team NSCAA All-Region, 2001 Second-Team New England Women's Intercollegiate Soccer Association All-New England and was a member of the 2001 NCAA All-Tournament Team. Also graduating were midfielder Katelyn McCabe (Second-Team All-NESCAC) and defender BriAnne Watkins.

Key Returnees
Amherst returns a solid group, led by senior tri-captains Kay Bradley, Sara Elkins and Jenny Rossman. Elkins, a midfielder, earned Second-Team All-NESCAC honors last fall, while Rossman boasts 21 career assists, the most of any returning player. Seniors Alexa Lawson-Remer, Martha Nelson and Briana Porco will add their abilities and leadership. The Jeffs return their top four scorers as well; juniors Ashley Harmeling, Adrienne Showler, Lee-Jay Henry and Tracy Montigny. Harmeling, the Jeffs' top scorer, earned Second-Team All-NESCAC honors, ranked sixth in the NESCAC in goals per game (0.60) and finished ninth in the NESCAC in points per game (1.27). Showler, another Second-Team All- NESCAC selection, highlighted her sophomore season with her first career hat trick in a 4-0 shutout win over Wesleyan, which earned her NESCAC Player of the Week honors. She finished 10th in the NESCAC in goals per game (0.47). Juniors Leslie Curran, Kate Ferris, Shell Roberts, Sarah Sklar-Heyn and Mary Sarro-Waite are all expected to contribute as well. A group of eight sophomores return and are all hungry for experience. This group includes Kate Biblowitz, Margaret Chute, Lauren Coape-Arnold, Sarah Coleman, Allyson Heady, Kaitlin Hill, Jessica Hootnick and Lyn Wojcik.

Schedule
The Jeffs open an always tough schedule with their season and NESCAC opener at Connecticut College on Sunday, Sept. 7, at 1 p.m., and will remain on the road for their next four games. Amherst's home opener against Springfield is set for Thursday, Sept. 25, at 4:30 p.m. Other non-conference opponents include Smith, Eastern Connecticut, Wheaton and Mt. Holyoke.