Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – Whittier College head women's soccer coach Monica Gerardo is entering her first season with the Poets and is looking to turn around a program that went 5-10-2 overall and 2-9-1 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2010.
But with the return of veteran players and a recruiting class of ten, that features six freshman and four transfers, Gerardo looks to make an immediate impact within SCIAC .
"The team will see some definite changes from the past. The goal is to instill a competitive mentality, mixed with upperclassmen leadership and experience" Coach Gerardo explained.
The midfield will return senior Shelly Johiro who was a 2nd Team All-SCIAC performer this past season. She will be expected to take control of the midfield, creating a multitude of scoring opportunities.
The defense will be led by junior Breeann Yamada, who was named to the 1ST Team All-SCIAC in 2010. The back line will be a strong area with returners Stephanie Bergstrom, Hannah Cooley and Lauren Velasquez anchoring the defense.
The offense will expect a big contribution from returning senior Chelsea Irha. The attacking line of the Poets will be supported by Ashlin Steele and Danielle Kwasniowski who each made their presence known in 2010.
The incoming class features local La Serna High School standout Madison Shipherd and junior transfer Athena Reclusado from De Anza College. "I expect Shipherd and Reclusado to immediately contribute to the offensive success this season and goal scoring responsibilities," Gerardo stated.
The Poets open their season at home as they take on the Mariners of Marymount College (Calif.) on September 3 beginning at 7:00pm.