2002 Season Outlook
Second year mentor Dawn Crow enters the 2002 campaign enthusiastically as eight starters return and she welcomes her first recruiting class, which has been ranked #23 in the Mid-Atlantic Region and in the top 100 in the country by Soccer Buzz Magazine.
The young and talented Dukes look to rebound from a disappointing 4-11-3 showing last year, which had five contests decided by one goal. To do this, Coach Crow will rely on a cohesive mix of seasoned veterans and enthusiastic newcomers to bring the Red & Blue back into the race for the top Atlantic 10 standings.
Leading Duquesne's offense will be junior Becky Barritt, senior Erin Marshall and sophomore Katie Schwager. The trio returns as the team's top point producers and will be counted on for the majority of DU's scoring. Juniors Lauren Bracco and Julie Broden and sophomore Caitlin Holmes help intensify the midfield and bring added power and scoring punch. Senior veteran Kelley Legge will control the Dukes' defense while senior keeper Kristin Scharphorn returns for her second season protecting the net. Strong and immediate contributions are expected from newcomers Erica Carey, Martine Gilbert and Katie McCarter. Carey and Gilbert, who played together as preps, bring added scoring prowess while McCarter, a former member of the Canadian National Team, aids in the defensive play.
Forwards: Barritt and Broden secure the forward spot and are joined by junior Maureen Moran. Barritt led the Red & Blue with six goals, two of which were game-winners, and added an assist for a team-best 13 points while Broden notched one goal on six shots and will be looked upon once again to mark the opponent's top scoring threat. Moran, who joined the squad as a walk-on her freshman year, started 10 of her 18 matches last season and notched two scores on 17 shots.
Midfielders: Returning starters Marshall, Bracco, Schwager and senior Tricia Erano solidify the midfield making it one of the most seasoned and competitive positions on the field. Each is equally capable of scoring the long ball and increase the Dukes' goal-scoring potential. Marshall led the squad with four assists and netted two goals for eight points last season while Schwager, one of two freshmen starters, found the back of the net twice and assisted on two goals for four points. Bracco, one of the team's most intense performers, loves to go for the ball and posted one goal and an assist last season. Erano has great field vision and anticipates the play well as she aided in the Dukes posting three shutouts and allowing just 1.82 opponent goals per game. Adding to the depth are sophomores Holmes and Justine Itte. Holmes saw play in 18 matches with 11 starts and launched the game-winning goal vs. Boise State last year. Itte joined the Red & Blue as a walk-on earning time in six contests coming in as an essential sub providing a needed spark. Newcomers Carey and Gilbert will challenge for starting roles from the get-go after stellar prep careers at North Carolina's Hoggard High School where they advanced to the state championships each year.
Defenders: Legge is back to lead the Dukes "D" for the fourth-straight season. Over her career, she has helped the Red & Blue hold the opponent scoreless 12 times. Returnees junior Carol Ferkovic and sophomore Katie Ireland join Legge adding to the depth and talent of the defense. Ferkovic started one of her 14 contests and took two shots while Ireland stared five of her nine matches. Newcomers McCarter and Dana Stimmel, a transfer from Seton Hall University, help make the defense one of the more experienced spots for the Dukes. McCarter comes to the 'Burgh after a strong stint with the Canadian National program and its Junior National Training Pool and was a member of the Ontario Provincial Team, which captured the 2000 National Gold Medal. Stimmel lettered two years at Seton Hall as a midfielder aiding in the Pirates' run to the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament in 2000.
Goalkeeper: Scharphorn is looking to her second slate as the Dukes' starting keeper. Last year she stopped 120 shots and recorded three shutouts in 18 starts. An Atlantic 10 Player of the Week, she boasted a 1.78 goals against average. Back up will be provided by freshman Sarah Eates. Eates holds her Trinity High School record in career saves with 28 and set a new single-season mark with nine.
The 2002 campaign gets under way August 30 as Duquesne heads south for a pair of matches at Southern Methodist, which advanced to the 2001 NCAA championship, and North Texas on Sept. 1. The Dukes return to Pittsburgh Sept. 6 for a match at cross-town rival Pitt and compete in their only regular season tourney at St. Bonaventure Sept. 13-15 facing St. Francis and Manhattan. The home season begins Sept. 20 as Canisius comes to Rooney Field and the Atlantic 10 slate begins Sept. 28 at St. Bonaventure. The top four teams in the league advance to the Atlantic 10 Championship Nov. 8-10 at Dayton to vie for the Conference crown and an automatic bid to the 64-team NCAA College Cup Championship.