Princeton Times

Sports

September 1, 2012

Concord soccer teams prepare to kick into action; remembering 'Big Will'

PRINCETON — Pressure may make coal into diamonds, but it can break people. On Thursday, the United States Anti-Doping Agency did what cancer and hostile crowds in Europe couldn’t. They broke Lance Armstrong. His life and foundation are effectively over.

This has been a year to break people, which makes it even more unconscionable that ESPN gave former analyst-turned-Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer a week to demonstrate his version of Captain Queeg from the book and movie “The Caine Mutiny.” I thought Penn State was supposed to be the end of separating athletes from regular campus life?

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Shifting to Concord University, I see that Will Johnson is leaving the Concord men’s basketball program to focus on his job(s) as Concord’s men’s and women’s golf coach. Big Will has been part of the Concord men’s basketball scene since he arrived on campus as a freshman from Charleston in 1978, first as a Hall of Fame player, then as an assistant coach who helped all of his big men successors learn the ropes. It won’t be the same this winter without him, and I wish him continued success in golf.

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Since Tyler McIntosh (sorry for misspelling your last name last week) and his student assistant Becky Brouse have been kind enough to provide information on the men’s and women’s soccer teams at Concord, I thought I would share that information with you.

The Concord University women’s soccer team has been picked to finish in sixth place in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this season in the preseason coaches’ poll.West Virginia Wesleyan, last year’s regular season champions, totaled 111 points and was predicted to repeat with Alderson-Broaddus (109 points) and Charleston (93 points) in second and third place, respectively. West Virginia Wesleyan and Alderson-Broaddus both received five first-place votes.

Davis & Elkins (92 points) was slotted fourth, followed by Shepherd (74 points), the Mountain Lions (64 points), Wheeling Jesuit (58 points), Seton Hill (49 points), West Liberty (33 points), Ohio Valley (23 points) and Pitt-Johnstown (20 points).

Head coach Stefani Workman is in her third season in charge of the women’s soccer program. Workman has compiled an overall record of 18-15 and a WVIAC mark of 11-8 in her first two seasons at Concord.

CU has had just one losing season over the last 11 years. In 2011, Concord finished with a 9-8 overall record and a 5-5 mark in WVIAC play. The Lady Lions ended last season by winning eight of its final 10 matches. Gone are All-WVIAC honorees Alyssa Hessian, Nicole Dirnagl, Kate Armentrout and Tori Faulkner, but the cupboard is hardly bare.

Three of Concord’s top five goal-scorers from a year ago return with senior forward Erika Hoff leading the way. Hoff, who has netted 13 career-goals, found the back of the net four times last year. Sophomore forward Alyanna James added two scores while senior midfielder/defender Fiona Mearns posted one goal. Sophomore midfielder/defender Sami Spertzel, who passed out two assists in 2011, round out CU’s returning point-scorers.

Defenders Molly Hopkins, Kylie Kirn, Tiffany Kobordo, Madi Ranck, Paris Wood all return after helping Concord record six shutouts, the fourth-most in the WVIAC, in 2011.

Other returnees include junior Melissa Woo Ling and sophomore Nikki Jarrell. Woo Ling appeared in nine matches and Jarrell played in eight last season.

The 2012 Concord recruiting class features three sophomores and eight freshmen.

Kaitlyn Wasylko, a sophomore transfer from Converse College, will serve as the starting goalie. As a freshman at Converse, Wasylko appeared in 16 games and recorded two shutouts, 152 saves, a .822 save percentage and a goals-against average of 2.25. She led the Conference Carolinas, and ranked fourth in the nation, in total saves. Wasylko’s save percentage was the second-highest in the conference and 57th in the nation.

Sophomore Abby Barber comes to Concord from Marshall University and sophomore Stacey Calder, a West Lothian, Scotland native, played at the University of Abertay Dundee.

The eight-woman freshman class of Chloe Barber, Shelby Ecsedi, Avery Howard, Morgan Hypes, Brianne LaFemina, Deanna Reynolds, Kari Simon and Samantha Wood is talented and versatile group.

In addition to an always daunting WVIAC schedule, Concord will play non-conference matches against East Stroudsburg, Kutztown, Tusculum, Southern Virginia, Ferrum College, West Virginia Tech and King College. CU’s 2012 opponents had a combined record of 127-140-19 in 2011.

Concord’s 2012 season begins with the Concord Kickoff Classic Sept. 1-2 at Anderson Field. Concord will play East Stroudsburg Sept. 1 at 2:30 p.m. and Kutztown Sept. 2 at 2:30 p.m.

More on this next week. Let me know what you think by writing me c/o Jeff’s Sports Corner, P.O. Box 1199, Princeton, WV, 24740, delimartman@yahoo.com or on Facebook.

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