Return to Glory

Aug. 14, 2002

The Dolphins failed to advance to the title game of the Atlantic Sun Championship for the first time in four years last season, but the 2002 edition of Jacksonville University women's soccer is experienced and confident the program will rise again.

Eight starters and 13 players who saw significant minutes return from the 2001 squad, which dropped six one-goal matches. Head coach Mike Johnson feels the experienced gained by those players last season will pay dividends in 2002.

Johnson covered the globe looking for help up front for Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year Michaelene Cadiz and came up with forwards from Spain, Belgium and Norway. The Dolphins should be deep at midfield with all four starters returning to their natural positions and other returning players pushing for playing time.

Although all-conference selections and team leaders Kathy Ciriello and Yvonna Rowinski leave the defense depleted, sophomore Hanni Wenzel, who earned All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors as a freshman, is hungry to compete after sitting out last season with a foot injury. JU women's soccer has built a solid tradition in its short history, and the 2002 Dolphins are eager to continuing that tradition by returning to prominence in the A-Sun and making another push toward the NCAA Tournament.

The front line for JU will see an overhaul as proven ball strikers have been brought in to pepper the net. Sophomore Michaelene Cadiz (Lutz, Fla.) is the Dolphins' leading returning scorer after scoring eight goals, earning her second-team all-conference honors. Junior Erika Chapman (Bradenton, Fla.) scored five goals last season for the Dolphins.

Cadiz and Chapman, who combined to account for nearly half of JU's goals in 2001, will be joined by a pair of transfers in senior Nathalie Virem (Madrid, Spain), who has been playing at the highest club levels in Spain and France, and junior Inge Heiremans (Tremelo, Belgium), who played the last two seasons at Lindenwood University and was the NAIA Offensive Player of the year. Junior Crystal Armstrong (Griswold, Conn.) is still a question mark as she continues to recover from a knee injury.

Freshmen Ranveig Aas-Hanssen (Skien, Norway), Courtney Hardy (Austin, Texas) and Amber Otto (DeLand, Fla.) should also push for time up front.

The Dolphins have the most depth and experience at midfield with every starter from last year's squad returning. Senior Vanessa Illanes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), a Second-Team All-Atlantic Sun Conference performer, moves back to midfield after injuries forces many players to take their turn up front last season. Illanes scored three goals and led the team with six assists in 2001.

Seniors Kristen Holstrom (Anaheim, Calif.), who was second on the team last season with 13 points (5 goals, 3 assists), and Brooke Moore (Tampa, Fla.) will be expected to take a more active leadership role, while juniors Erin Bitterli (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Dianne Herlihy (Key West, Fla.) are expected to make an impact on the outside. Freshmen Meagan Farrell (Ft. Myers, Fla.) and Regan Rone (South Amboy, N.J.) will give the Dolphins plenty of depth.

The defense will welcome back sophomore Hanni Wenzel (Camano Island, Wash.), who earned a medical redshirt after missing the entire 2001 season with a foot injury. Wenzel, a first-team all-conference selection as a freshman, is an aggressive, physically dominant player on the back line.

Sophomore goalkeeper Stephanie Fowler played every minute of all 19 of JU's matches in 2001.

Senior Juli Petrauskas (Austin, Texas) and sophomores Lauren Starmer (Oviedo, Fla.) and Lindsay Eddy (Memphis, Tenn.) must step up and fill the voids left by all-conference performers Ciriello and Rowinski, while freshmen Suzanne Fossum (Bainbridge, Wash.) and Ariel Spears (Tallahassee, Fla.) will be expected to contribute immediately. Johnson believes this group of defenders is the deepest and most talented back line he has had in his four years at JU.

The Dolphins should once again be solid in goal this season as sophomore Stephanie Fowler (Seffner, Fla.) returns after playing every minute of the Dolphins' 19 matches as a freshman. Fowler had a sparkling 1.35 goals against average, fourth in the A-Sun, and five shutouts, third-most in a single season at JU.

Fowler will be backed up by junior Sarah Scalese (Brewster, Mass.) and freshman Jennifer O'Malley (Ormond Beach, Fla.).