Womens Soccer poised for another winning season
By Nick Misiak
The list of accomplishments was endless in 2013 for the Women’s Soccer team and this year has the promise to add even more. The Ocelots completed last season first in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (capturing their third consecutive conference title) were the number one seed in National Junior College Athletic Association Region XII Tournament and were consistently ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation.
Despite the squads accomplishments and impressive 13-2-1 season, the teams season abruptly ended in the first round of the post season at the hands of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College when they defeated the 2-1 in the Region XII Tournament semi-final.
Head Coach Deepak Shivraman, returning for his eighth season, is hoping that his team will improve upon the successes of the previous few years.
“The returning players are hungry again in their quest to defend our league championship and go further in the playoffs,” said Shivraman. “The last two seasons have been disappointing in that we have been knocked out early [in the playoffs], and I know our players that played last year can’t wait to take the field again to be relevant in the post-season.”
Shivraman will be flanked this year by assistant coaches: Douglas Lee (seventh season), Felicia Formosa (fourth season) and Jo Buck (third season).
Despite the loss of sophomore All-American forward Kelly McKay, who led the Ocelots in scoring last season and transferred to Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, the Ocelots bolster a strong nucleus of returning veterans. Returning to the squad are sophomore forwards Remy Huttekier and Alexis (Lexi) Cano, midfielders Hannah Hasbrouck and Tiffany Gales and defenders Jessica Parry and Danielle Howard. These six veterans will be the heartbeat of a predominately young squad and plan to lead the Ocelots to another shot at a national title.
Although sixteen newcomers grace the freshman class of recruits to the squad, they all bring a veteran mentality to the pitch.
Incoming to the team this year are forwards Cienna Whitsitt, Jenni Ibarra, Shae VanGassen and Sahdia Washington, midfielders Kelly Schmidt, Emily Mulcahy, Sarah Mulcahy, Emma McLaughlin, Valeria Cossyleon and Tori Koontz, defenders Cynthia Konan, Stephanie Newton, Erin McDonald, Maddison Cook and Lacey Chanady, and goalkeepers Kate Danglemaier and Aly Mann. VanGassen turned heads at the teams first scrimmage of the season when she booted in two goals en route to a 4-0 Ocelot Victory.
“We look and feel strong as a team on and off the field,” said freshman Erin McDonald. “ We are getting ready for a great season and working very hard to make it to nationals this year”.
The 2014 season kicks off with league play on September 7 when the Ocelots travel to Jackson to battle the Jets of Jackson Community College. Other notable matchups this season will be on September 13 when the Ocelots look for redemption against Cincinnati State and on October 4 against Delta College another conference rival. A full schedule can be found at http://www.mccaa.org/team/15/7/1548.php.