Women’s Soccer Looking to Turn Heads
Kelly Starchok returns for her fifth season guiding the women’s soccer program at Hilbert College and she is extremely excited to work with this 2015 team.
“I think this is the strongest team that I’ve ever had; they are being led by upperclassmen who have shown the dedication and have the heart to make something special at Hilbert, “said Starchok. “We want to change the perception of what we’ve been in our conference, and the upperclassmen have fully committed themselves to it. There is confidence among the Hawks that the space between them and our conference foes is shrinking.”
The 2015 team is goal-driven and they have established that winning is their top priority. The Hawks will focus on making everything count, in everything they do, on an off the field. It’s the little things that will lead to their success and, as a group, they will get it done.
“We are focused on following foundational values this year which are: to MAKE IT COUNT! To be SELFLESS and to bring EFFORT, DISCIPLINE, INTENSITY,” continued Starchok. “and that is so refreshing for me to see because this team shares the passion that I have.”
Leading the charge will be the Hawks’ midfield which is the strongest core group that this position has seen in several years. Junior captains Jackie Morgan and Jennifer Colvin will cover the center midfield and will be the playmakers this season. Together their skill, tactical awareness, perseverance and athleticism will dictate the tone of the team. Colvin, an AMCC Third Team All-Conference selection last season, led the team in points, shots, and shots on goal. Morgan was second on the team in shots, shots on goal and chipped in one marker and an assist along the way.
Junior Courtney Vaccaro has excellent speed and crossing ability on the outside and the Hawks look for her to put the ball in the back of the net this season. Senior Kaitlyn Layman is expected to see time in the midfield and on the back line. She is a great utility player who helps the team by filling holes and hustles every minute she is on the pitch.
Junior Imarie Waller and sophomore Ashley Iwanenko will generate offense for the Hawks up top. Waller returns with speed and tenacity to generate offense on the front third of the field. Iwanenko will see time up on top and at the outside midfield position as the season progresses.
Seniors Barrett Armstrong and Kayla Guidi as well as sophomore Brooklynn Gormel return as the integral defenders on the backline. The Hawks three solid defenders have experience and confidence in the box limiting touches and shutting opponents down.
Sophomore Jenna Castricone will vie for time in the net this season and thanks to her diverse athletic ability and knowledge of the game, she will add to the Hawks’ resilient defensive unit.
Starchok welcomes a strong group of first year players to wear the royal and white.
Shannon Rogers is a strong player who will make a direct impact on offensive this year. The academic junior is a first-year soccer player after taking two years off to play basketball.
Freshman Emily MacKinnon will compete for playing time right away on defense because of her ability to break up plays and win balls in the air. Melissa Goodman and Kayela Perkins will see time on defense and learn from the upperclassmen as their rookie year advances.
Two Hawks’ alumni are serving as assistant coaches and they will work effortlessly with Starchok in driving the team in the right direction. Robbi Bailey and Mary Mabon know what the expectations are and both have the will, experience and knowledge to guide the players.
The Hawks open the year with four non-conference games on the road. They will face Utica and SUNY Poly at the Utica College Classic (9/4 and 9/5). Hilbert continues with a contest in Pittsburgh at Chatham University (9/12) and double headers with the men’s team at Thiel (9/15) and Saint Vincent (9/19).
Sandwiched in the middle is a home game against Alfred University (9/18) before they close-out the non-conference portion of the schedule on 9/23 vs. Wells in Hamburg.
Hilbert hosts five Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference games this fall: Mount Aloysius (True Blue Weekend) (10/3), D’Youville (10/7), Greensburg (10/10), Bradford (10/27) and will celebrate their senior day on Saturday, October 24 against Altoona. All home contests will be live-streamed in standard definition video but fans can upgrade ($5) their viewing experience to high definition streaming (click here)
The AMCC portion of their schedule opens with back-to-back road games at La Roche (9/26) and Behrend (9/29). The Hawks face Franciscan (10/17) in Steubenville, OH and then play Medaille (10/21) in a neutral-site contest at the D’Youville turf complex.
MORE ATHLETICS NEWS