A new era begins for the UMass Dartmouth women’s soccer team this fall, as first year Head Coach Elise Cloutier takes over a Corsair program that is looking to make its mark in the always rugged Little East Conference race. Cloutier, a former standout at Mount Ida, welcomes back 18 letterwinners and seven starters from a squad that posted four overall victories in 2017, and with a talented group of newcomers joining the fold, enthusiasm is running high on the South Coast heading into the new campaign.
Veteran leadership will play a key role once again for UMass Dartmouth this fall, and Cloutier will look to seniors Courtney Hewitt (North Attleboro, Mass./North Attleboro), Kayla Loycano (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) and Maddie McGee-Cochran (Lunenburg, Mass./Lunenburg) to provide that example as Corsair tri-captains. The rookie mentor describes the trio as “great leaders both on and off the field who will push everyone to excel. They have created great chemistry and morale with their teammates, and I know they will continue to push us to succeed.”
Here’s a look at how things are shaping up for the 2018 edition of Corsair Women’s Soccer:
FORWARD. Senior Taryn Carley (Kingston, Mass./Silver Lake) leads an experience group up front for UMass Dartmouth after netting a goal and an assist in 10 outings a year ago, while junior Juliana Fleming (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) also chipped in with a marker last season. Juniors Rachel Ripley (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth), Jennifer Woehl (Aberdeen, S.D./Middletown) and Taylor Woehl (Aberdeen, S.D./Middletown) combined to play in 32 matches in 2017 for the Corsairs, while sophomores Allison Leal (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) and Sarah Silva (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) combined for 25 appearances in their inaugural collegiate campaigns last fall. Freshmen Kalli Guillemette (Taunton, Mass./Bristol-Plymouth) and Kaitlyn Bernier (Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth) will also be looking to make an impact up front as newcomers this season.
MIDFIELD. Hewitt heads a solid corps of returnees in the middle for Cloutier, as she collected a pair of tallies and two assists for six points while starting all 21 matches played in 2017. Junior Cara Pimentel (Westport, Mass./Diman Regional) chipped in with an assist in 15 outings for UMass Dartmouth, while fellow junior Jaimie Nakamura (Aiea, Hawai’i/Kamehameha-Kapalama) started in 13 of 21 contests played last season. Sophomore Breana Cordeiro (New Bedford, Mass./Greater New Bedford) provides additional experience after playing in 14 matches for the Corsairs as a rookie, while juniors Ella Rath (Pawcatuck, Conn./Stonington) and Nerida Montrond (Lynn, Mass./Brockton), sophomore Hannah Sousa (Fall River, Mass./Durfee) and freshmen Sarah Vieira (Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth) and Olivia Barnes (Springfield, Mass./Springfield Central) are vying for midfield roles as well this fall.
BACK. Loycano (a two-year team captain) and McGee-Cochran lead Cloutier’s backfield unit, as Loycano started in 17 of 20 matches played while McGee-Cochran notched a goal in 19 contests in 2017. Juniors Sabrina Costa (Fall River, Mass./Diman Regional) and Rebecca Simpson (Millis, Mass./Millis) combined for 25 appearances for UMass Dartmouth last season, while sophomore Alexis Cote (Westport, Mass./Diman Regional) recorded an assist while starting 14 of 20 outings during her first collegiate campaign. Sophomore Sara Russo (Guilford, Conn./Guilford) and freshman Bella Mancini (Bellingham, Mass./Bellingham) will look to contribute to the Corsair defensive corps as well in 2018.
GOALIE. Sophomore Jaimee O’Brien (West Springfield, Mass./West Springfield) emerged as a solid last line of defense during her rookie season last fall, as she started in all 11 matches played while recording a pair of wins and 44 saves along the way. Senior Korina Miguel (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) provides additional experience for Cloutier in the Corsair cage, as she made four stops in over 110 minutes of action a year ago.
SCHEDULE. Another challenging slate awaits Cloutier’s crew this season, as UMass Dartmouth will host Fredonia, Springfield, Connecticut College and Worcester State in non-league play while welcoming Plymouth State, Keene State, Castleton and Western Connecticut to Cressy Field for Little East clashes. The Corsairs will travel to Albertus Magnus, Bridgewater State, Salem State, Clark, Becker, Johnson & Wales and Westfield State for non-conference contests and head to Eastern Connecticut, UMass Boston, Rhode Island College and Southern Maine for LEC outings.
UMass Dartmouth begins the Elise Cloutier era on Friday, August 31st when the Corsairs entertain Fredonia in a non-league match at Cressy Field at Noon EDT.