The Youngstown State women's soccer team is set to play two exhibition games prior to the beginning of the regular season. On Friday August 10, the Penguins will travel to Ohio for a 1 p.m. matchup with the Bobcats. Youngstown State will return home on Monday August 13 to host Marshall at 6 p.m.
The Bobcats finished last season with a 7-10-3 record. Ohio will be looking for players to step up on the offensive end after losing their top goal scorers from a season ago. This will be the fifth meeting between Youngstown State and Ohio in a series that dates back to 1997. The Bobcats own a 4-0 advantage in the all-time series, including a 1-0 victory in 2013.
The Thundering Herd are coming off the 2017 season with a 5-11-1 record. The Herd return their two top-point scorers from a season ago in junior Jordan Sackaris and senior Ashley Seltzer. Marshall will play Youngstown State for the first time since 2000. The Herd own a 1-0-1 record against the Penguins.
Three seniors will look to lead a young Penguins team that features 22 freshmen and sophomores. Forward Katie Hackos returns to the team for her senior season after running cross-country last fall. Hackos started 33 games in her career, registering three goals and three assists. Defender Madison Hughes has been a three year starter for the Penguins making 52 starts during her career. Hughes has recorded two goals, which include a game-winner during her freshman campaign. Defender Shani Jefferson has seen action in 34 games while starting 28 of those games over her career.
With the Penguins' top scorers both graduating, Junior forward Rasheda Abdul-Rahman returns as the highest scoring player from last years team. During her sophomore season, Abdul-Rahman started all 18 games, scoring two goals and recording one assist. Sophomore midfielder Sydney Ossege appeared in 17 matches and made five starts during her freshman campaign. Ossege registered two assists and was named to the Horizon League All-Freshman Team. Sophomore midfielder Sammy Salatino looks to build off a freshman season where she played in all 18 games. Salatino recorded two assists while making 15 starts.
Head coach Brian Shrum is in his first year leading the Youngstown State women's soccer program. After working as an assistant for seven seasons at Duquesne, Shrumn was hired in December to take over the head coaching job. His assistant coaches are Josh Green, Tara O'Brein and Mandy Green. O'Brein is in her second year on the staff while both Josh and Mandy Green are in their first year.
The Penguins open their regular season at home against Chicago State on Friday, August 17 at 7 p.m. Youngstown State gets right back to action on Sunday, August 19 when they will play host to Howard at 1 p.m.