Monday, August 27, 2012
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster's women's soccer team absorbed a rare 7-10-1 record in 2011. A five-time Presidents' Athletic Conference champion, the Titans' losing record a year ago is only the second occurrence in its 14 years of existence. Despite this, Westminster won three of its last four contests and was one win away from making the postseason which provides motivation for this year.
"The key to this year is to be consistent," said 11th year head coach Girish Thaker. "We need enough wins to be in the top four within the conference so we can make the playoffs. There are a lot of good teams in the PAC and a lot games can be decided by one goal."
Westminster's 2011 all-PAC honorees, Tyler Dever (first team), Samantha Killmeyer (second team), Kelli Michanowicz (honorable mention) and Shanay Phillian (honorable mention), have graduated, therefore the Titans will rely on their 13 returning letter-winners, that includes six starters, to carry them to the success that the program is accustomed to.
Team captain senior goalie Jenn Cantella (Freedom, PA / Freedom) leads the way with two years of starting experience at the net. In 2011, Cantella was top five within the conference in five different categories including save percentage (2nd/.817), saves (2nd/107), saves per game (3rd/5.94), shutouts (3rd/4.5), and goals against average (5th/1.35). "Cantella's experience really helps," said Thaker. "I expect even more from her this year."
The other five returning starters include junior forward Amanda Turi (Monroeville, PA / Gateway), junior midfielder Jordan Steele (Falconer, NY / Falconer Central), junior midfielder Maggie Nikituk (Pittsburgh, PA / North Allegheny), junior defender Katie Brown (Gibsonia, PA / Pine-Richland), and sophomores forward Kerri Inzinga (Monroeville, PA / Gateway) and midfielder Rachael Boyes (Smithville, OH / Smithville). Turi is the top-scorer of the returning starters with two goals in her first year a starter.
Senior midfielder Maura Miglioretti (Monroeville, PA / Gateway) adds experience since she played in 16 games with two goals as a key reserve in 2011. Junior midfielder Kristina Tissue (Coraopolis, PA / West Allegheny) also played a pivotal role off the bench a year ago with two goals in 15 games played.
Westminster is excited to see what its 18 newcomers have to offer on the field in 2012.
"The freshman seem enthusiastic and will contribute in one way or another," said Thaker. "Until they play against other college players, we won't know exactly who will separate themselves from the pack, but I'm excited see who will step up."
About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.