NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Coast Guard women’s soccer team is looking for a strong year after missing the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament for the first time in three years. The 2015 team went 7-11 overall and 2-8 in conference play with wins against Clark and Mount Holyoke. The Bears return 14 players this season and will look to that experience for a resurgence within the NEWMAC.

Head coach Susan Grant returns for her 10th season at the helm of the women’s soccer program. She’ll be assisted once again by LT Beth Nakagawa, Andrea Giuliano and Katie Shveda. Anthony Occhialini returns for his fourth year as the goalkeeper coach.

Senior tri-captain Terry Netusil will provide a scoring touch for Coast Guard up top as she is tied for fifth all time in goals (13) and is sixth in points (31). Netusil was second on the team last season in goals (5) and points (14). She will look to fill the scoring void left from the graduation of Sarah Hills who led the team in scoring the last three seasons.

Senior Terry Netusil
Senior Brianna Grisell will also join Netusil as a scoring threat up top along with freshman Claire Hurley. The combination of speed, creativity and technical ability will make the trio a difficult matchup for any defense this season.

Through the midfield senior tri-captain Katie Clark will have a dominant role as both a center midfielder and a center back. This is her second year as team captain for the Bears, and the team will depend on her leadership and tenacity on both the defensive and offensive ends of the pitch.

Senior Katie Clark

Another player the Bears will look to through the midfield is senior tri-captain Alyssa Sato who has two goals and three assists in her career. Junior Gabby Auzenbergs and sophomore Kali Borden will be options out wide for Coast Guard as Auzenbergs is entering her third season healthy and Borden saw significant time as a freshman starting 11 games.

Senior Alyssa Sato

Freshmen Elizabeth Miller and Lydia VanWinkle have played well throughout preseason and will look to make an immediate impact in the midfield for the Bears.

“I think we will see scoring across the board from our team as anyone could step up on any given night,” added Coach Grant. “Terry (Netusil), Bri (Grisell), Kali (Borden)and Gabby (Auzenbergs) are all threats along with Lizzy Miller and Katie Clark at the center midfield position. I think our scoring will come from a lot of pieces, which is nice.”

The back line for Coast Guard also features a strong, core group with seniors Moira Meek, Emily Matthews and Clark along with sophomore Riley Cassidy who will spearhead an experienced back four who have 105 starts between them.

T: Senior Moira Meek, BL: Sophomore Riley Cassidy BR: Senior Emily Matthews
In goal the Bears return sophomore Rachel Boohar who started 17 games last season finishing with 113 saves and a 1.71 goals against average.

Sophomore Anna Niedermeyer also appeared in three games last season starting one and earning her first career win against Clark. Freshman Megan Houpt has also played well throughout preseason giving the Bears added depth at the goalkeeper position.

A number of new faces appear on the Bears schedule this season as they open the year with William Patterson at home. They will play a competitive nonconference schedule with games against Nichols, Mary Washington, Randolph-Macon, Salve Regina, Johnson & Wales and UMass Dartmouth. On top of the strong out of conference schedule, Coast Guard will have their always tough NEWMAC schedule.

“The changes in our schedule will better prepare us for our NEWMAC games,” added coach Grant. “It is a good challenge for us and will set the tone for our difficult conference schedule.”

The Bears are hungry to start the season and have their eyes set on another postseason berth after missing last season.

“We obviously want to get back to the NEWMAC Tournament and be competitive in the tournament,” said coach Grant. “We need to be competitive every time we step on the field to make sure we are prepared for postseason play.”

The Coast Guard women’s soccer team opens at home this year on Saturday, September 3rd against the William Patterson Pioneers. Kickoff is 1:00 pm.

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