High hopes for FSU women’s soccer in 2021 | Local Sports

High hopes for FSU women’s soccer in 2021 | Local Sports

FROSTBURG — Frostburg Sports will be taking a preview of each team competing this fall season over the next couple of weeks to see expectations, key players and what the overall outlook of each program will be. First up in the series is women’s soccer.

Overall

Frostburg State women’s soccer will play its 28th season this fall. This is the team’s third season at the Division II level, having made the leap from Division III in 2019. Head coach Brian Parker will enter his 20th season at the helm, with 229 career victories.

Last season

The Bobcats used a strong defense and some key players in attack to finish with a 6-1-2 record overall and win the Central Division title in the Mountain East. That earned them the second overall seed in the MEC Tournament, in which they hosted Notre Dame (Ohio) in the semifinals, narrowly falling on penalties. It was the team’s best tournament finish since reaching the Capital Athletic Conference championship game in 2017.

The returners

Nearly every player from last year’s roster returns, headlined by first-team All-MEC honorees Abbey Dennis and Audra Curtin, both seniors. Dennis was solid in the heart of defense all season, helping the team to hold opponents to just five goals over the entire season. Curtin tied for the team lead with four goals, all of them game-winners, while also adding an assist to finish as the team leader in points with nine. Joining them in all-conference honors were sophomore midfielder Caroline Burton, who earned honorable mention, and sophomore forward Toni Fiocco-Mizer, who was named to the freshman team. Other key returners include sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Bilger, senior Lexi Pate, who tied Curtin for the team goal lead with four, sophomore midfielders Hannah Thompson and Lela Clark, and in defense junior Jamie DiTullo and seniors Mackenzie Folch and Mina Del Borrello.

The newcomers

Coach Parker sang the praises of a number of incoming freshmen, of whom he hopes will add competition for places while also bringing some firepower off the bench. Carolyn DeSena and Mei Homman have impressed as defenders in preseason, as has midfielder Catherine Smith and forward Mackenzie Alonso. The full class also includes defender Keri Horine, midfielder Skylar Andrews, forwards Madison Allen and Keely Knotts, and goalkeeper Katie Sterne.

The preseason polls

After earning the program’s first-ever national ranking in the spring, the Bobcats are ranked No. 21 in the country by the United Soccer Coaches. In the MEC, FSU was picked to finish second in the North Division, garnering one first-place vote. Coach Parker hopes his team can compete for the Division and Conference championship after just missing out on reaching the final last season.


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