Women's Soccer Opens Season Against Intrastate Rivals
The Minutewomen will kick off 2009 campaign at Holy Cross on Friday and at Boston University on Sunday.
Sydney Stoll and the rest of the Minutewomen open their 2009 season this Friday at Holy Cross.
Aug. 26, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. -
The UMass women's soccer team will begin its 2009 campaign under new head coach Angela Napoli this weekend as the Minutewomen will face a pair of intrastate rivals in Holy Cross and Boston University. UMass will take on the Crusaders in Worcester at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, before traveling to Boston to play the Terriers at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 30. Sunday's match will be BU's Terrier Tailgate, featuring pre-game food and entertainment provided for all fans in attendance.
After long-time head coach Jim Rudy announced his retirement in late may after 21 seasons at the helm for the Minutewomen, Angela Napoli was appointed as head coach on July 21.
Napoli, a 2000 UMass graduate and native of nearby Longmeadow, takes over after spending for season as an assistant coach on Rudy's staff. In her four previous seasons as an assistant, the Minutewomen have compiled a 34-30-6 record, including an 11-6 mark in 2006.
A four-year letterwinner in goal for the Minutewomen (1996-1999), Napoli played in 35 career games (starting 27) and posted a 1.38 goals against average. Currently, she ranks seventh all-time in the UMass record book in career shutouts (13) and saves (159).
On Sunday, Napoli's squad will square off against another team led by a former Minutewoman as Boston University head coach Nancy Feldman played at UMass from 1979-1980.
Former All-American defender Paula Wilkins, who will be inducted with this year's UMass Hall of Fame class on Oct. 9, played for the Minutewomen from 1990-93 and is currently the head women's soccer coach at Wisconsin.
Against The Crusaders
The Minutewomen own an impressive 7-0 record in the all-time series versus Holy Cross.
Last season, UMass captured a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory on Sept. 12, with (current assistant coach) Vanessa Patry, heading in the game winner in the 102nd minute.
The last time two teams played in Worcester, Mass., was in 2005 with the Minutewomen coming away with a 1-0 victory.
The Crusaders, who open their season against UMass, return 18 letterwinners from last year's squad and welcome six newcomers. Among those returning for Holy Cross is Patriot League Rookie of the Year, sophomore midfielder Katherine Donnelly.
Against The Terriers
UMass is 2-4-0 all-time against Boston University in a series that began in 1979.
The last time the teams met on Aug. 30, 2006, in Amherst, the Minutewomen took down the Terriers, 3-1. Current redshirt junior Sydney Stoll scored the third goal in that match, which was the first tally in her collegiate career. Stoll and classmate Meghan Gould return to the pitch this season after missing all of 2008 due to injury.
BU, who will open its season on Thursday against Rhode Island, finished with a 15-6-1 overall record last season and a perfect 8-0-0 mark in the America East Conference. The Terriers took home the 2008 America East Title and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the fourth consecutive season.
Luckey played every minute of all 18 games last season and posted a 1.05 goals against average while also recording five shutouts.
Smith, who started 17 contests as a junior, finished her sophomore campaign second on the team in points with eight (three goals, two assists) and is the top returning scorer for UMass. She had two game-winning goals and trailed only Vanessa Patry (13 points) in point production. Patry is back with the Minutewomen, but in a new role as an assistant coach.
Close To Home
Nearly 60 percent of the UMass roster is made up of players from Massachusetts.
A total of 13 players hail from the Bay State, while four come from Pennsylvania, two are from New York, with one each from Connecticut, New Jersey and Tennessee.
Lauren Yelinek, a native of Ludlow, transferred closer to home after spending her freshman season at Texas Tech. Yelinek played in 13 matches for the Red Raiders in 2008 and tallied six assists, which tied for fifth-most in Texas Tech history for a single season.
Cota, who was tabbed a top-100 recruit by TopDrawerSoccer.com, was named to the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Rookie Team.