Aug. 18, 2005
A new look Clemson team enters the 2005 season excited for what the future holds. Although the loss of four starting defenders and two attacking players seems daunting, the staff is excited about the overall talent level of the team and the prospects for the 2005 season.
Clemson has five starters and 15 letterwinners returning from the 2004 team that finished with a 10-8-2 record overall and a 4-4-1 slate in league play. The season included victories at top five teams Texas and Texas A&M, the first time any Clemson athletic team had won consecutive road games over different top five opponents since the 1984 men’s soccer team won at UCLA and Virginia on the way to the national championship. Head Coach Todd Bramble’s team advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 11th straight season, something it has done every year of its existence.
While defining the roles of the defenders will be the priority of the preseason, the Lady Tigers will once again be a very potent attacking team and deep at the goalkeeper position.
The Lady Tigers had a great recruiting season and according to Head Coach Todd Bramble’s, this year’s freshman class will be a great addition to the program. “We certainly have high hopes and expectations from this particular class. The talent level of this group is very good. “What I love the most is the diverse qualities that we are adding to our team. There is a nice mixture of size, speed and technical abilities to complement our returning players. Individually, each of these young ladies is passionate about Clemson, and I find it energizing that we are not only improving our soccer team, but our campus community as a whole.”
The schedule also affords another tough slate with 10 Atlantic Coast Conference foes, including new ACC member Boston College. William and Mary, and Virginia Commonwealth are two prominent non-conference teams on the schedule. Clemson will also play host to the Carolina’s Cup with Furman, UNC-Charlotte, and South Carolina competition for the championship at Riggs Field.
Clemson will be playing host to league teams Maryland, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Miami, Duke, and Florida State this fall.
Goalkeepers Clemson will be deep at goalkeeper as the Lady Tigers have two players with valuable experience competing for the starting role. After Ashley Phillips (sophomore) went down with an injury in the second game of the 2004 season, Lauren Johnston (sophomore) came in and had a great year for the Lady Tigers as she started 17 games and finished the year with a 1.14 goal allowed average. She also had 56 saves and was named to the All-ACC Freshman team.
Phillips, who was in goal to open the season when Clemson won at Texas and Texas A&M, returned to the lineup and played in six matches and finished the year with 26 saves and a 1.19 goal allowed average. Also returning to this position is Stephanie Permar (sophomore) who played in two matches last season and Sarah McClurg (junior) who sat out last season due to injury.
Defenders “Although it will be a new group of defenders it will be a group that has a combination of experience and talent,” said Bramble. The fourth year Tiger mentor has shifted veteran player Kelly Schneider (junior) to the defense and that will help immediately. In the spring, Schneider was changed to a defender and according to Bramble, “She had a great spring and looked comfortable in her new position.” Schneider played in 18 games last year and scored six goals with two assists for 14 points as a forward.
Britten Meyer, who saw action in 20 matches in 2004, is also back for her junior season. She had four starts as a defender and will be a mainstay in the defense. Jess Shain (junior) will also be vying for playing time.
Clemson has added Molly Johnson from the talented freshman class. Johnson (Stuart, FL) was a member of the Region III ODP team. Other freshmen who could see time in the back include Anne Baldwin (Covington, LA) and Lia Schendel (Florence, SC). Baldwin was a member of the ODP region III pool and was an all-district and all-state performer. Schendel was a member of the South Carolina ODP team and was also an all-state selection. Bramble is also hopeful Logan Hull can compete for playing time after an injury filled 2004.
Midfielders Leading the way in the midfield are 2004 All-ACC performer Allison Graham (senior), and Lydia Vandenbergh (senior). Graham finished the season with three goals and five assists for 11 points. Vandenbergh started all 20 matches in the 2004 season and finished the year with two goals and five assists for nine points.
Elizabeth Jobe (sophomore) started all 20 matches for the Lady Tigers as a freshman. She had two goals and one assist for five points and was named to the All-ACC Freshman team. Kim Farber and Amber Funk also had very positive spring seasons.
Other freshmen who could see time in the midfield include Julie Bolt (Charleston, SC) and Sara Gulley (Burke, VA). Bolt was a member of the South Carolina ODP team and was named to the all-region team. She has been named all-state, and an NSCAA All-American and the NSCAA State Player-of-the-Year for the state of South Carolina.
Gulley was also named a NSCAA All-American and was a three-time all-region team selection. After a strong spring Bramble will also be counting on Candice Hein for contributions in this area.
Forwards Clemson has many candidates vying for the forward positions. Courtney Foster (junior) is the Lady Tigers’ only returning starter in this are. She scored seven goals and had one assist for 15 point and was named second-team All-ACC in 2004. She has been Clemson’s top goal scorer each of the last two years.
Sophomore Jacquelyn Hines, who saw action in 18 matches, finished the season with two goals and five assists for nine points. Hines, daughter of Clemson tight ends coach Jack Hines, came off the bench and added a spark to the Lady Tiger lineup during her freshman campaign. Clemson added two freshmen from the state of Georgia to the roster afterwards. They include Fraser Gerth (Roswell, GA) and Jenny Smith (Macon, GA). Gerth led her high school team in goals and assists. Smith was named all-state and led her high school team to numerous state championships.
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