By JOHN CORYER
---- — PLATTSBURGH — There are 27 players on the Plattsburgh State women’s soccer roster this season.
Twenty-two are either freshmen or sophomores.
“Youth doesn’t scare me — I’m excited about the new season,” Plattsburgh coach Karen Waterbury said. “There’s a lot of experience in the sophomore class. They’ve come back physically and mentally fit. And they will continue to grow.”
“We have some freshmen who will help us right across the board, but especially with the scoring.”
Waterbury enters her 24th season at Plattsburgh with a 273-140-30 career record. But following a 15-4-1 overall record and a 7-1-1 mark in SUNY Athletic Conference play, the Cardinals fell to 7-6-3 and 4-4-1 two years ago and 7-10-1, 2-6-1 a season ago.
“We had a lot of injuries two years ago and couldn’t find a way to win the 1-0 games last year,” Waterbury said. “But this is a new year. The sophomores are more mature, they get along well with one another and are working hard.”
Plattsburgh opens its season on the road this weekend with a 5 p.m. game at Colby-Sawyer today and a 1 p.m. contest against Rivier College the following day. The Cardinals need to be better offensively.
“We should be more dynamic up front,” Waterbury said.
Freshman Diana DiCocco will create opportunities, while Melissa Rodriquez, Devin McMahon and Cammey Keyser are back from last year. Freshman Vicky Scott will also be counted on.
“We’re a lot deeper than we were last year up front,” Waterbury said. “But we have to stay healthy.”
At midfield, the Cardinals will be led by senior Emily LaLone.
“Emily gives us good leadership, and we’re counting on that,” Waterbury said. “She is a leader by example.”
Sophomores Megan Colby and Cassidy Clavet are also key players in the midfield, along with freshmen Heather Marko and Ashlie Guinness.
Senior Lauren Gonyea, a steady player, will provide leadership in the back.
Sophomores Hannah Saccocio, Madeleine Rattray and Taylor Florio, junior Ashley Pagano and freshman Kylie Wallace are in the mix.
Plattsburgh does have inexperience in net, with junior Charisse Abellard and freshman Leanne O’Brien both being converted field players.
“Still, I expect us to be more consistent in goal,” Waterbury said. “I think the players in front will feel confident playing to the keeper’s feet. Charisse has been more focused, and she has looked good so far.”
Gonyea, Clavet, LaLone and Keyser are the leading goal scorers returning from a year ago with two apiece.
It will be a work in progress for the Cardinals.
“I have a great coaching staff assisting me, and we’re going to take it one game at a time,” Waterbury said. “We’re a work in progress, and we play a good, competitive schedule.
“We do have better size than last year — we’re taller and stronger. But we have to find a way to win the 1-0 games and to find our personality. Doing a better job in the attacking third is a key for us.”
Saturday, Aug. 30- at Colby-Sawyer College, 5 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 31- at Rivier College, 1 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 6- Cardinal Classic; vs. St. Lawrence University, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 7- Cardinal Classic; vs. Bard College, 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 14- at Mount St. Mary College, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 15- at Vassar College, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 21- Skidmore College, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 24- Clarkson University, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 28- at Potsdam State, 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 4- at Oswego State, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 5- at Cortland State, 11:30 a.m.
Friday, Oct. 11- Oneonta State, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 12- New Paltz State, 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct, 18- at Buffalo State, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 19- at Fredonia State, 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 25- The College at Brockport, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 26- Geneseo State, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 29- at Norwich University, 4 p.m.
WOMEN'S 2013 ROSTER
Number, Name, Height, Class, Position, Hometown/School
1- Charisse Abellard, 5-4, junior goalkeeper, Plattsburgh/Plattsburgh
2- Emily LaLone, 5-3, senior midfielder, Watertown/Immaculate Heart
3- Cammey Keyser, 5-4, sophomore midfielder, Keeseville/AuSable Valley
4- Kelly Siry, 5-5, sophomore back, Amityville/Amityville Memorial
5- Megan Colby, 5-0, sophomore midfielder, Clintonville/AuSable Valley
6- Madeleine Rattray, 5-6, sophomore back, Clifton Park/Shenendehowa
7- Vicky Scott, 5-4, freshman forward, Naugatuck, Conn./Mercy
8- Kylie Wallace, 5-8, freshman back, Cato/John C. Birdlebough
9- Hannah Saccocio, 5-2, sophomore back, Rotterdam/Schalmont
10- Heather Marko, 5-4, freshman midfielder, Saratoga Springs/Schuylerville
11- Jillian Tardelli, 5-2, junior midfielder, Potsdam/The Winchendon School
12- Melissa Rodriquez, 5-2, sophomore forward, Somers/Somers
13- Amanda Livolsi, 5-4, sophomore midfielder, Troy/Troy
14- Ashley Pagano, 5-7, junior back, Port Jefferson Station/Comsewogue
15- Ashlie Guinness, 5-7, freshman midfielder, Massapequa/Massapequa
16- Jess Devaux, 5-2, freshman back, Patterson/Brewster
17- Sara Elliott, 5-4, sophomore midfielder, Canton/Hugh C. Williams
18- Cassidy Clavet, 5-8, sophomore midfielder, Clifton Park/Shenendehowa
19- Lauren Gonyea, 5-4, senior back, Plattsburgh/Beekmantown
20- Anissa Hartmann, 5-6, freshman forward, Fairfax, Vt./BFA Fairfax
21- Lucy Wedge, 5-1, freshman back, Valhalla/Valhalla
22- Taylor Florio, 5-2, sophomore back, Rotterdam/Schalmont
23- Devin McMahon, 5-6, sophomore back, Holbrook/Sachem North
24- Diana DiCocco, 5-5, freshman forward, Schenectady/Schalmont
25- Maddy Trombley, 5-7, freshman midfielder, Plattsburgh/Plattsburgh
26- Christen Averill, 5-8, sophomore midfielder, Saugerties/Saugerties
30- Leanne O'Brien, 5-9, freshman goalkeeper, Bethpage/Bethpage
Head coach: Karen Waterbury Assistants: Shay Gestal, Pat Shaughnessy