POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist women's soccer team opens its 2014 season on Friday night, when the Red Foxes host Seton Hall of the Big East Conference at 7 p.m. at Tenney Stadium. Under the leadership of head coach Katherine Lyn, Marist will look to transition from an off-season that featured six seniors departing and the arrival of 10 freshman players.
Schedule Breakdown: The Red Foxes will face a tough 10 home game, eight road game schedule this upcoming season. The home slate kicks off with the season opener against Seton Hall and later non-conference home games against Cornell, Providence, Brown, and Dartmouth. Their three road non-conference opponents include UMass Lowell, Navy, and Delaware.
Marist will start the conference schedule with a pair of road games, one on Sunday, Sept. 21 against Rider and another Saturday, Sept. 27 against Manhattan. They’ll then make their way back to Poughkeepsie to kick off home conference play against rival Siena on Wednesday, Oct. 1. The rest of the home conference schedule features games against Fairfield, Saint Peter’s, Canisius, and Monmouth while their road conference games include visits to Iona, Quinnipiac, and Niagara.
Camp Impressions: The resilience of the team is something Lyn has raved about during camp and something she was happy to see, but not something that surprised her.
“We've demanded a lot of them from day to day and each day there hasn't been a lack of effort, there’s definitely fatigue but not failure,” Lyn said. We've got to keep pushing the envelope a bit and honing some technical skills here and there but for the most part everyone is on board to challenge the MAAC this year and make an appearance in the championship.”
Brianna Robinson - Forward, 5-9, Jackson Memorial High School
Robinson will look to be an impact player up front for the Red Foxes. As a four year varsity starter at Jackson Memorial High School she ranked second in program history for goals and assists. Her ability to win the ball up high and create havoc up front will pay immediate dividends for the style coach Lyn will look to play.
Lyn on Robinson: “She’s a very athletic winger that’s really strong in the air. Her best attributes are speed, understanding how to attack off the dribble, and just being a presence up top.”
Camille Bowen - Defense, 5-7, Goshen High School
Bowen is a natural athlete and facilitator from the back line. Keeping an organized defense and then pursuing strong counter attacking opportunities will be a staple for coach Lyn and the Red Foxes this season. Bowen should fit in perfectly with those plans as one of the first players off the bench. Bowen attended Goshen High School where she was recognized with a number of honors: four time scholar athlete, high honor roll all four years, 1st team all-section, 2nd team all-state, and all section 9 coaches all-star team.
Lyn on Bowen: “Very technical, steadfast, composed player. She will be a playmaker that is strong in the air and crafty on the ball.”
Makala Foley - Goalkeeper, 5-7, Shenendehowa High School
Foley is a player with the ability to make an immediate impact in goal and fight for starting time with senior goalkeeper Andrea Wicks. Foley attended Shenendehowa High School and was recognized as a scholar athlete from 2010-13 as well as nominated to second team all-state in 2013. She was also honored in back to back seasons with all conference team nominations, in 2011 Foley was named to the second team and in 2012 she was named to first team.
Lyn on Foley: “She will be looking to challenge our senior goalkeeper for time and be a dominant presence with her shot stopping ability.”
Marissa Mertens - Defense, 5-6, Hicksville High School
Mertens a senior defender and anchor for the defensive unit returns to build on a strong back line that helped post seven shutouts last season. Not only is Mertens a force when she’s on the field, she’s also reliable enough to stay on it. Mertens started 17 of 18 games she appeared in for the Red Foxes in the 2013 season.
Lyn on Mertens: “Marissa will continue to lead us with her presence. Her defensive effort is remarkable and she’s also learning how to become more of a playmaker on the ball.”
Ashlee Burke - Midfield, 5-4, Northport High School
Burke is a key piece to the Red Foxes defense from the midfield position. The sophomore from East Northport, N.Y. returns this year to bring continuity and stability to the back line and midfield. Burke started 17 of the 20 games she appeared in last season.
Lyn on Burke: “She came into camp extremely fit and prepared for this season and we’re looking for her to score some goals with her head and constantly win balls in the midfield.”
Lessons Learned: It’s important to learn from previous outcomes and coach Lyn isn't dismissive of that fact. Coming off an 8-10-2 overall season, fourth place MAAC finish, and early round exit in the MAAC tournament last season, it’s important for the Red Foxes to look back on what worked from the year past but also look back at what didn't work.
“For me personally it’s trusting my first instinct and recognizing when things are good regardless of who’s on the field.” Lyn said. “I've also got to continue to reinforce the positive energy, which was something that we missed at times last year.”
For the complete 2014 Marist women’s soccer schedule, please click here.