Aug. 11, 2000
With eight returning starters and the addition of nine freshmen WSU boasts depth on its roster in 2000.
Head Coach Dan Tobias enters his third year at the helm of Cougar soccer with a 13-22-3 record during his tenure at WSU. Curtis McCalister (goalkeepers) and Wendy Jones, are both in their second year as assistant coaches for the program.
"We're excited about having nine new players coming in, nine players that we think will not only help our team and our program for this season and the coming seasons, but people we think are going to be student-athletes for the next four years," Tobias said. The Cougs' 1999 leading scorer and this year's lone senior, Deka DeWitt, will lead a potent WSU offense and a strong 2000 team. DeWitt finished last season with 10 goals and eight assists earning All-Pac-10 second team and WSU offensive player of the year honors. After playing just two years, goalkeeper Lindsey Jorgensen is first in career shutouts, second in career minutes in goal, second in career saves, first in minutes in a season and first in saves in a season.
"I said when I took this job, 2000 would be one of the most exciting times for Washington State University soccer. I'm sticking to that plan and sticking to those words," Tobias said. "I think this year, in particular, is going to be a very strong year for us and for Cougar soccer in the future. We only have one senior this year, and we certainly would love to have her finish her career with an NCAA play-off berth."
The following is Coach Tobias' breakdown of the 2000 team:
"Obviously Lindsey Jorgensen has done a good job in establishing herself here and I think under assistant coach Curtis McAlister's guidance, has really taken some big leaps. It takes some guidance in one sense, but it also takes commitment, dedication and just tremendous work ethic in the other. Lindsey's a great example of a tremendous student-athlete, and she's a 4.0 student as well. We're real proud. She's actually the first Academic All-American in the program's history so that's quite an accomplishment.
We've added Sara Leibowitz from the LA Force club team who has some excellent athletic skills. I know she's excited about coming here and she knows she has the opportunity to learn quite a bit. Her learning curve is pretty big, but we think she can make a pretty rapid ascent because of her athleticism, her intelligence, and her work ethic. I know my staff, and Curtis in particular, are very excited about our group of goalkeepers this year."
"We have some solid defensive players returning. People like Stacey Dunn and Adrienne Rizzo are two of the primary ones. We've added, Mariette Boyce, Katelin Jackson, Shay Hobby and Danielle Sass. We're very excited to have four players of that quality and that caliber. They're people who come from good youth programs, have played in a lot of big games, a lot of championship games, so they have a very good competitive background. We definitely feel like they're people that when the game's over, for lack of a better word, will just leave it all on the field.
One of the things we are pleased about, especially with this incoming class of new players, is we definitely have a core of players who are going to be the foundation for our team, especially defensively over the next few years. Particularly in the middle of the field where Hobby and Jackson will complement each other really well. Add players like Sass and Boyce, and we feel like that's a real good foundation. Combine that with the players we have coming back and we're excited about what we look like defensively this year."
"Midfield-wise, again, we've added some tremendous players. Returners like Beth Childs, Natalie Kehl and Jennifer Burrough did very well their first two years. To be able to add players like Rachel Rodrick, Kim Morgan, Jessica Allen and Jenna Wirtz to that group makes us obviously that much stronger.
Morgan is someone we'd call a ball winner on our team, someone who I'd say nine times out of 10, if a ball's in the air, she's got her head on it and has won possession for us. We've added a couple of play-makers in Rodrick and Wirtz. Rodrick is from the FC Royals and she's someone who has very good field vision, is very creative and plays with a little bit of flare. Another play-maker, Wirtz from the LA Force, is again a very crafty, creative player who is going to be very helpful in the middle of the field. We have the flexibility of playing people like Niki Ironside and Erin Cook either in the back or in the midfield. We feel with the transition they made this last year, probably playing in the back for both of them is going to be where they can help the team the most. Liz Duncan, one of the best athletes in the conference, has worked very hard in the off-season and we're looking to add her into the midfield to give us more of an attacking presence and some more speed on the flanks.
Brianne Carmody, again a very athletic player, made tremendous progress as a soccer player last year and we are looking forward to her continued development. She showed that when she's in the game, she can be a very productive player and a threat offensively as a forward up top or as a wide midfielder.
"When you combine those players I just mentioned with one of the best strikers in the conference in Deka DeWitt, and then one of the up-and-comers in the conference in Katrina Stroh, from top to bottom our team has improved immensely in all aspects."
THE SCHEDULE -
The Cougars are optimistic about the 2000 schedule being conducive to hard work and success. WSU will spend the first three weeks of the season on the road and then the Cougs come home to kick off their Pac-10 schedule with Cal and Stanford.
"We'll be road-tested which I think is important," Tobias said. "We have a lot of new players coming in and I think it's definitely important they get acclimated as quickly as possible, and one of the ways to do that is to play some action on the road and have some success in those first six matches."