LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Siena Women’s Soccer Head Coach Steve Karbowski has announced the addition of six incoming freshmen who will join the program this fall. Amber Alfonzo, Madi Belvito, Taylor Dorado, Hanna Longendyke, Haleigh Schanz and Ariel Somple have all returned their binding National Letters of Intent and will comprise the Siena Women’s Soccer Class of 2020.
“This a very talented class both offensively and defensively,” noted head coach Steve Karbowski who is set to enter his 18th season at the helm this fall. “Amber, Ariel and Madi have all been dynamic goal scorers in the past, but also have the ability to make the decisive final pass. The additions defensively will be welcomed with Taylor in goal and Hanna and Haleigh’s versatility in the back. In addition to their talent on the field, this group has also demonstrated the quality and character of a Siena College student athlete.”
A native of Stony Point, N.Y., Alfonzo was a five-year varsity competitor and two-time captain for North Rockland. A two-time Second Team All-State, four-time All-Section and five-time All-League selection, she amassed 69 goals over her final three seasons for the Red Raiders following her full-time move to striker. Alfonso led North Rockland to four Class AA Section I Finals, including a pair of appearances in the state finals. Following her junior season in 2014 in which she amassed 61 points on the strength of 27 goals and seven assists, Alfonzo was tabbed The Journal News Rockland Player of the Year, the Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess Coaches’ Association Player of the Year and was also named an MSG First Team All-Metro selection. Alfonzo has played eight years of club soccer for World Class FC ECNL.
“Amber is a true striker,” explained Karbowski. “She is a composed finisher with either foot around the goal. Her ability to see the field, read the defense, and make the right decision will add creativity to the attack. Amber’s toughness and competitive nature will be a welcomed addition.”
Belvito was a three-time All-State, All-CNY and All-Section selection and a four-time All-League honoree at Marcellus. The Camillus, N.Y. product played all over the field over her four varsity seasons for the Mustangs. Last fall, Belvito led Marcellus to the Section II Class B Title and was named a First Team All-State selection and the Liberty League Player of the Year after amassing 35 points on a team-high 14 goals. Belvito led her Syracuse Development Academy club squad to state championships in each of her four years with the program, including a regional championship in 2012.
“Madi is a strong, tough and versatile player,” commented Karbowski. “She is equally valuable as an attacking back or as a wide player offensively. As a defender, she is hard tackling to win the ball and skillful to start the attack. Madi serves a great ball in the offensive third, and will commit to her goal scoring chances.”
A local product from nearby Guilderland, N.Y., Dorado was named the Section II Class AA Goalkeeper of the Year last fall after saving nearly 90% of the shots she faced at Guilderland. Following her senior season, she was also tabbed a Third Team All-State selection in addition to being selected both a Suburban Council and Albany Times Union First Team All-Star. Dorado played her club soccer for both the New York Extreme Futbol and Alleycats. She played six years of ODP at both the state and Region 1 levels, advancing to the ODP National Championships in 2015 where she guided her squad to an appearance in the Final Four.
“Taylor is a very complete goalkeeper,” said Karbowski. “She has great training habits and demonstrates all the proper technique. Her distribution, both with her hands and feet, is as good as any. Taylor has the ability to make big saves and all the qualities of a top keeper to allow her to compete immediately for a starting role.”
A native of Hurley, N.Y., Longendyke becomes the first women’s soccer player in Kingston High history to receive a Division I scholarship. A four-year varsity player and two-time Section IX All-Star, she served as a team captain her senior year in which she was named a Class AA All-State selection. Longendyke played six years of club soccer for Quickstrike FC and also excelled in lacrosse where she was named an All-Star and led Kingston to three Section IX Championships.
“Hanna is an athletic defender with the ability to play anywhere along the back line,” noted Karbowski. “She is fast, fit and skillful to attack as an outside back. Hanna reads the game very well and has the composure and presence to play in the center back. Her versatility and athleticism make her an immediate impact to the team.”
Schanz played four years of varsity and was a two-time captain, All-League and Poughkeepsie Journal All-Star Honorable Mention selection at Arlington. The Hopewell, Junction, N.Y. product garnered All-Section and All-Hudson Valley Honorable Mention honors following her senior season. Schanz played four years at both the ODP and club levels, competing for World Class FC.
“Haleigh is a versatile, defensive minded player,” explained Karbowski. “She is physically strong, an intelligent player and reads the game very well. Haleigh’s ability to strike the ball with both feet and her vision to see the field will allow her to be effective anywhere along the backline or as a defensive midfielder.”
Somple starred at national powerhouse Northern Highlands Regional which was the consensus No. 1 ranked team in the country for most of her senior season. The Upper Saddle River, N.J. standout helped guide the Highlanders to a four-year record of 93-2-1 which included four Group 3 League and three Bergen Country and Group 3 State Championships. A two-time First Team All-County and three-time First Team All-League honoree, Somple amassed exactly 100 career points on 36 goals and 28 assists. She tallied 32 points on the strength of 14 goals as a senior when she was named an All-State selection. She played four years of club soccer for SDFC.
“Ariel is a technically fast striker,” commented Karbowski. “She is quick with the ball, but has the vision to see the right pass at the right time. Ariel’s combination of speed and quickness with her ability to score goals as well as set up her teammates make her a very complete striker.”
The sextet joins a Siena Women’s Soccer team on the rise which is fresh off the program’s second MAAC Tournament Championship last fall. The Saints recorded a 12-7-3 overall including a 5-4-1 conference mark in 2015, and became the first-ever No. 6 seed to win the MAAC Tournament Championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament. Siena returns seven starters, seven of the team’s top-eight scorers and retains 79% of its scoring from last year’s team.