2004 Season Outlook
University of Southern Indiana women's soccer Head Coach Krissy Meek begins the 2004 season with something she did not have during her first campaign -- team depth and experience.
During her first year at the helm, Meek had just 17 active players of which 10 were freshmen. Despite having a young team and few in numbers, the Eagles were 6-9-1 overall and 3-7-0 in the GLVC, just missing the GLVC Tournament.
Entering 2004, the Eagles have 26 players on the roster with 14 returning from last year's squad. The team also retains a majority of its offense from 2003, returning four of the top five scorers who produced 20 of the Eagles 27 goals last year.
To supplement the returning players, Meek has added 12 new players who are weighted toward the defensive end of the field.
The Eagles return five forwards from last season's team, including one of the 2003 leading scorers in junior Alisann Shetler. Shetler tied Aisha Earle-Smith for the team lead in goals scored with seven and ranked second on the team with 16 points, playing throughout the season with an injured ankle.
Returning to join Shetler up front is senior Jennifer Johnson and sophomores Megan Williams, and Amanda Cardwell. Johnson will make a transition from a back position that she played her first three seasons with the Eagles to a spot up front.
Williams returns to her natural forward position after playing several games last year in the back due to injuries. She was tied for fourth on the team with two assists last year.
New up front for the Eagles this year are sophomore Katy Ferguson and freshmen Casey Alexander, and Katie Grossman. Ferguson, who sat out last season as a redshirt in 2003, was an All-Conference and first team All-County as a senior at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2002.
Alexander helped lead Central High School in Evansville, Indiana, to a 12-2-4 overall record and a number 13
ranking in the final IHSAA poll. She also was named ISCA Academic All-State,
second team All-City, and Academic All-City.
Grossman was the Player of the Year in Evansville and was named first team All-City, All-District, All-SIAC, and All-State as a senior at Memorial High School in Evansville, Indiana. She also led MHS in scoring in 2003.
A returning group of midfielders comprise a solid core for the Eagles in 2004.
The midfielders are led by junior Brooklyn Gant and Brianna Farinelli; and sophomores Kara Marcum and Rebecca Cripe. Gant was third on the team in scoring with 13 points on six goals and one assist and has 19 points over two seasons on eight goals and three assists.
Marcum and Cripe followed Gant in the scoring column with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Marcum recorded two goals and a team-best seven assists, while Cripe had four goals and two assists.
Barisano signed with USI after earning four varsity letters in soccer at Castle High School in Newburgh, Indiana. She was the CHS most valuable player in 2002 and was first team All-SIAC and All-District in 2003. CHS won the sectional and regional championships this past fall.
Brehmer was a four-year varsity starter that was named first team All-Hoosier Crossroads Conference, All-County, and honorable mention All-State during her career at Noblesville (Indiana) High School.
Collins, who comes to USI from Merrillville (Indiana) High School, is a three-time All-District performer who was first team All-Area as a senior. She also was a member the Indiana State Olympic Development team in 2001 and 2002 and played for the MSA Mystique in 2003.
Improved defense will be a major goal for USI this fall, hoping to deflate the 2.15 goals against average of 2003. The good news for the Eagles is the return of four promising defensive players.
Leading the backs is senior Lisa Stucki. Stucki, who is in her third and final season with the Eagles, is steady on defense and has the ability to take the ball forward by scoring eight points on a goal and six assists as a junior.
Stucki will be joined in the back by sophomore Kim Husky, Meghan O'Rourke, and Mindy Gardner. Husky, who was the sweeper, and O'Rourke, who was the stopper, started all 15 matches for the Eagles as freshmen.
New to the backfield is sophomore Kate Schneider and freshmen Lauren Finn, Lauren Herrenbruck, and Keri Land. Schneider joins the team after attending USI in 2003, but joining the team and playing well in spring practice.
Land was named All-HCC and Academic All-District in 2003 and 2004 on the Noblesville (Indiana) High School teams that won the HCC championships in both years. Finn was the 2003 MHS Most Valuable Player and team captain at Evansville's Memorial High School, in addition to being named the Best Defensive Player in 2000 when MHS went to the state finals.
Between the posts, Meek has returning sophomore goalkeeper Casey Hrvatin and new freshman goalkeeper Meagan Homolla. Hrvatin started and played in 14 of the 15 USI games as a freshman, posting a 2.33 GAA and averaged 7.6 saves per game.
Homolla lettered all four seasons in soccer at Portage High School in Potage, Indiana, and was a two-time All-District, All-Area, and All-Conference performer as a junior and senior at PHS. The native of Portage, Indiana, also helped PHS to three straight conference championships and the sectional championship as a senior.