2009 Soccer Outlook
The 2009 Nevada soccer team features the biggest roster in program history with 25 players including 15 underclassmen. But second-year head coach Jaime Frias is confident that the team's youth will only help the team this season.
"This is a very large group of incoming freshmen and transfer students," Frias said. "We expect this group to challenge our returners from the get go. The incoming players will help make our training environment more competitive as a whole."
In addition to the team's 11 newcomers the Pack returns seven starters and 14 letterwinners from last season's squad that made the program's fourth consecutive appearance in the WAC Tournament.
Returners include junior Cristen Drummond, a 2008 First-Team All-WAC and WAC All-Tournament Team honoree, junior goalkeeper Marie Cove who posted two shutouts last year, sophomore midfielder Ellie Stott who recorded one goal and one assist as a freshman and defenders senior Devin Noe, who started all 20 games and junior Erin Smith who recorded three goals during the year.
"Our returning players will be the heart and soul of this team" Frias said. "They bring with them a wealth of experience and a sense of maturity to our program. They will be a big part in the development of our young players as they mentor them throughout the fall season."
Up top, the Pack returns its leading goal scorer from 2008, junior Cristen Drummond. Drummond recorded four goals in 2008 and was named to the Preseason All-WAC team this season.
"Chris is someone who has worked tirelessly in all parts of her game," Frias said. "She's a coach's dream in regards to her work ethic and willingness to put the team before herself."
Sophomore Natalie Ratnavira, who recorded one goal last season while playing in 19 games with one start, will also return for Nevada. Newcomers Kesia Broome, Jordan Ramsier, Jillian Masciola, Emma Rice and Sam Strom will also vie for playing time either as forwards or midfielders. Strom, a freshman forward/midfielder from Fountain Valley, Calif., played club for Slammers FC and won three National State Championships.
"Sammy is a product of one of the best youth soccer clubs in the country," Frias said. "She was an impact player for her club team and has played in some big time soccer matches. We plan on Sammy making an immediate impact on our soccer program."
Returners junior Jill Erickson (1 goal), sophomore Annabelle Allen (1 assist), sophomore Ellie Stott (1 goal and one assist) and junior Vanessa Mann have all seen significant playing time during their careers and combined for six points in 2008.
"Belle brings a competitive spirit that is unique to her," Frias said. "Her personality is great for team chemistry and her ability to connect with people will help us integrate this large group of newcomers onto the team."
Also returning to the Pack midfield are sophomores and local products Sarah Voss (Sparks, Nev.) and Joanne Terranova (Reno, Nev.)
In addition to Kesia Broome, Jordan Ramsier, Jillian Masciola, Emma Rice and Sam Strom who will be looking for playing time either as forwards or midfielders, freshman Sam Johnson will be in the mix in the midfield as well.
Returners seniors Devin Noe, Nikki McEachern, Whitney Gilson and junior Erin Smith represent the most experienced position for the Pack this season.
Noe, McEachern and Smith played in all 20 games last season. McEachern led the team in minutes played with 1,804 and Noe was third with 1,781 while Smith recorded three goals.
"Devin is someone that knows how to win," Frias said. "She's been on winning programs since her days with youth soccer. Her experiences as a player will add maturity to such a young group."
Freshman Lauren Braman (Niwot, Colo.), who helped lead her high school team to a record of 44-8-5 in three seasons, finished her high school career with 13 goals and two assists as a defender.
The Pack will have three goalkeepers on this season's roster: junior Marie Cove, sophomore transfer Jenna Riddle and freshman Dana Moreno.
Cove played in eight games and started seven in 2008. She posted two shutouts on the year and recorded a career-high 10 saves in Nevada's 1-0 win over Hawai'i.
"Rie is another player that has worked tirelessly on the physical component of the game," Frias said. "She's improved tremendously throughout the spring and summer. She has also taken a leadership role on the team and does a good job of communicating with different players on our squad."
Riddle, a native of Las Vegas, Nev., spent the 2008-09 season playing for the University of Arizona while Moreno attended Chatsworth High School in Chatsworth, Calif. Moreno played club for Real So Cal and won six Surf Cup Championships and the 2009 Cal South National Championship.
"Dana is another player that has played at the top youth level," Frias said. "She was a huge impact on a team that advanced to the USYSA Region IV finals and was player of the year for her conference and city at the high school level. We expect Dana to immediately compete for playing time this year."