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Evergreen Women's Soccer Team ready for 2003 season

June 18, 2003

by James J. Portune

Olympia, WA - The success that The Evergreen State College Women's Soccer team had in 2002, outscoring opponents 61 to 46, ranked 5th in NAIA Division I ranking for three consecutive weeks in October, looks to be just a taste of things to come.

Head Coach Arlene McMahon, returning for her seventh season, announced that the 2003 team will be made up of eight returning players, two transfers, six freshman and three players who did not play last season.

The eight returners for the 2003 season are: 1st-Team Cascade Conference forward Tiffany Fenster (junior), 2nd-Team Cascade Conference defender Amanda Grayum, goalkeeper Sara Hart (junior), midfielder Celeste Holz-Schietinger (junior), midfielder Jackie Schindwein (senior), midfielder Heather Gordon (junior), midfielder Vanessa Charles (senior), and defender Leah Humphries (junior). Last season's All-Region and 1st-Team Cascade Conference midfielder A.J. Fairburn (senior) will redshirt the 2003 season.

An Honorable Mention NAIA All-American her freshman season, Fenster lead the conference last season in Shots per Game (5.84), finished third in Points per Game (2.63) & Goals per Game (1.16) and twelfth in Assist per Game (.32).

Having lost two senior starters to graduation, midfielder Jennifer Fahrney and defender Bethany Roth, coach McMahon is eagerly looking to fill those vacancies.

Forward/Mid-fielder Kaylen Kelley, a NCAA Division III sophomore transfer, brings an energetic attitude to the program. She brings good speed to a team that is looking for a replacement this season for Fairburn in midfield.

"Julia Eagen," McMahon said, "reshirted last season at Portland State. She is a good defender with good skills. Her presence will give us depth in the backfield, a luxury we have not had before." Academically, Eagan is considered a sophomore. Athletically, she is a freshman, as this will be her first season competing at the college level.

Following a two years absence from the game, midfielders Megan Leibmann and sophomore Katie Fraser, who last played in 2001, will return to action, as will Brekke Holub, who redshirted last year for the Geoducks.

Six incoming freshman will bring the 2003 Women's Soccer team roster to twenty-one total players, who bring with them great promise, not only for this season but for the years to come as well. The freshman are: midfielders Elizabeth Lieberknecht (Austin, TX/Westlake HS), Amy Hildahl (La Conner, WA/La Conner HS), and Taylor Jones (Tacoma, WA/Curtis HS), defenders Joanna Stodden (Seattle, WA/Garfield HS), Chelsea Becker (Tri-Cities, WA), and goalkeeper Susanna Pearlstein (Washington, D.C.).

"Carly Stewart, a goalkeeper at Federal Way High School, is very quick and reacts very well," said coach McMahon, a former goalkeeper and the University of Washington. "Her high school team went to state this year and, at 5'8", she is a presence in the goal."

Currently a member of Snohomish Elite Soccer team, Jamie Doran hails from Bellevue, Wash. A strong aggressive left-footed defender, Jamie's present in the backfield will make it even tougher for Evergreen opponents to score.

With Humphries and Grayum starting on the backline in 2002, the Geoducks were ranked third in the Cascade Conference defensively, allowing just 2.3 goals per game.

"League play will be different this year," explained coach McMahon, "with two divisions, a northern and a southern division. Concordia, Albertson, Eastern Oregon and Evergreen are in the northern division and we play each other twice. The other schools (Western Baptist, Warner Pacific, Cascade, Oregon Tech, Southern Oregon) are the southern division and we will play them only once."

With the new alignment, only the top two teams from each division will advance to the Cascade Conference tournament and Evergreen looks to be a strong contender.