Aug. 9, 2012
RENO, Nev. -
The University of Nevada soccer team will open up the 2012 season with an exhibition match against the Nevada men’s club team Friday 7 p.m. at Mackay Stadium. The season marks the third year under Dr. Melissa Price, featuring 11 newcomers and seven returning starters in the program’s first year in the Mountain West.
“There is a positive, youthful energy to our program,” head Coach Dr. Melissa Price said. “We welcome 11 freshmen and return a strong core of players, with most seeing significant playing time in the last two years. This season will be marked with new faces, challenges, accomplishments, and successes.”
Nevada finished with an overall record of 3-16 in its final year in the Western Athletic Conference to take eighth place. Junior Kori Disarufino and sophomore Chrisalyn Fonte, who led the team in scoring with three and two goals respectively last season, will be leaned on to provide offensive production. Senior Dana Moreno will lead a corps of goalkeepers, playing in 13 games last year where she snagged 45 saves.
The exhibition is free to the public.
With 14 letterwinners returning, seven of which are starters, the Wolf Pack will look to make an immediate impact in its first year in the Mountain West. Dr. Melissa Price enters her third year at the helm with her same staff intact, looking to turn that continuity into increased success on the field.
Offensively, the Pack will lean on junior Kori Disarufino to help fill the void left by Ellie Stott. Disarufino and Stott led the team in scoring last season with three goals apiece. Disarufino also led the team in shots attempted with 35.
She played in all 19 of Nevada’s matches last season with 14 starts. The junior from San Luis Obispo, Calif., netted the game winning goal in a 1-0 match at Utah last season. Scoring against the Utes, Sacramento State, and New Mexico State, she ended the year with three goals and six total points.
Sophomore Marlo Smith and newcomer Erin Saxton will also compete for time in the Nevada offensive attack. Smith attended George Whittell High School near Lake Tahoe, while Saxton is a Beaverton, Ore. native and a graduate of Beaverton High School.
Sophomore Chrisalyn Fonte will lead the Nevada charge from the midfield. Fonte started in all 19 matches for Nevada last season. The Union City, Calif. native pitched in two goals and added five points for the Pack, finishing the season with 23 shots on goal.
Juniors Aleina Dominguez, Sarah Schmeda and Chivon Crump all played in at least 15 matches last season and should see their roles and minutes increase in the Nevada midfield this season. Sophomore Bobby Reilly appeared in the final 13 matches after missing time for medical reasons.
Senior Lauren Braman, who leads the current group of players in matches started, will be a key piece in the experienced defensive front for the Pack. In 2011, Braman started every match for the third straight year, bringing her career total to 60 and pushing her into Nevada's all-time top-10 in matches started. Not only did the Niwot, Colo. native start every match last season, she played every available minute during that time (1,749).
Junior defender Chelsea Fricke returns to action for Nevada after missing the majority of the previous season due to an ankle injury in which she used a medical redshirt. The Dallas native will look to remain healthy and help bolster the Pack’s defensive line.
San Clemente, Calif. native Danielle Green will line up with Braman and Fricke in her junior year. Green started and played in all 19 matches for Nevada last season. Sophomores Madison Lorenzen and Kellyn Morning will compete for playing time at the back.
Senior Dana Moreno will lead a corps of goalkeepers, playing in 13 matches last year with eight starts. She played more than 850 minutes in goal last year, snagging a total of 45 saves. Moreno will be counted on this year to log a brunt of the minutes as the lone returner to see time at the position last season.
The schedule in 2012 will prove to be an increase in competition as Nevada enters the Mountain West. The Wolf Pack will open the season at home on August 17 against former Western Athletic Conference mate Hawai`i. Nevada will be battle tested early on the road, as the team will play five consecutive matches away from Mackay Stadium, starting with UC Davis on August 26. The Pack will follow up the match against the Aggies with contests in Texas against Texas Tech on August 31 and TCU on September second. Nevada will close out the road trip with stops at San Jose State on September seventh and San Francisco on September ninth, before returning home to face Weber State on September 14 and a true test against Pac-12 foe California on September 23.
Nevada will open up its inaugural season in the Mountain West on the road September 28 at San Diego State. The Wolf Pack will take on interstate rival UNLV at home on October 19th. UNLV won the match last season in a close 2-1 contest. The Mountain West season will conclude for Nevada on the road against Boise State on October 27.
The 2012 season will mark the second consecutive year Nevada has had double digit newcomers wear Silver and Blue for the first time with 11 on board this year. Last season Nevada had 13 newcomers suit up.
With only seven starters returning from the 2011 season, many of the newcomers will see significant time on the pitch this year.
The incoming class of student-athletes is made up of four players from the state of California, three from Arizona, two from Nevada, and one each from Oregon and Washington.
“We've increased our depth at every position on the field, which we feel strengthens our team from our goalkeepers all the way up to the forwards. We are looking to multiple players across all four classes to make an impact at every level. Leadership, discipline, hard work, and attention to detail are the cornerstones to our success. It's time to sweat the small stuff and make a mark in the Mountain West. This is our first year in the conference and our goal is to establish our program as one of excellence and a tradition of winning,” Price said.