Prior to the regular season opener on August 23, the Youngstown State women's soccer team will play two exhibition games as part of their preseason.
On Friday August 16, the Penguins will host Ohio for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Farmers National Bank Field in the Covelli Sports Complex. YSU will hit the road on Sunday, August 18 for a matchup against Buffalo at 2 p.m. from UB Stadium in Buffalo, New York.
LOOKING AT THE OPPONENTS:
Ohio: The Bobcats finished the 2019 season with a record of 9-8-3. Ohio and YSU squared off last year in an exhibition game at Chessa Field, which featured a 6-0 victory in favor of the Bobcats. The Bobcat's return their top point scorer from last season in senior Alivia Milesky, who recorded six goals and two assists. Junior Sydney Malham figures to be in goal for Ohio after supporting a .89 GAA and .821 save percentage in 15 games last year. The Bobcats are under the direction of seventh-year head coach Aaron Rodgers.
Buffalo: The Bulls finished last season with a record of 11-8, which included a 3-0 victory over the Penguins at Farmers National Bank Field on August 24. Marcy Barberic returns as the top point scorer after recording seven goals and seven assists a season ago. Emily Kelly figures to start in goal this year after starting all 19 games in 2018. She posted a 1.52 GAA and a .759 save percentage to go along with seven shutouts. Shawn Burke enters his sixth season at the helm for Buffalo.
Key Penguins Returning
Sophomore Lauren Dolak returns as the top goal scorer for the Penguins after recording a team-high two goals last season. Dolak appeared in all 18 games while making 17 starts at the midfield position. Junior Lexi Neal will look to anchor the defense for the Guins after the departure of two seniors on the backline. Neal started in all 18 games and recorded four shots last year.
Junior Kate McEachern figures to get the nod in goal for the Penguins after making 14 starts during the 2018 season. McEachern finished the year with a 1.82 GAA and a .735 save percentage to go along with three shutouts. McEachern led all goalkeepers with 48 saves and 6.0 saves per game during Horizon League play. She was awarded with the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week honors on 10/8/18 for her five save, shutout performance against Oakland.
The Lone Senior
Larsen Murvin enters the 2019 season as the only senior on the Penguin's roster. She'll look to provide that "senior leadership" as the Penguins feature 22 underclassmen on their roster. For her career, Murvin has seen action in 39 games while also making 18 starts. She's record three assists during her time at YSU, with two coming during her freshman year and one last season as a junior.
The Penguins' roster features 13 new faces, including 12 freshman and sophomore transfer Bethany Rasile, who played her soccer at the University of Pittsburgh last fall. Rasile figures to plug into the backline after playing in nine matches and making two starts for the Panthers last season as a defender.
Freshman Marcella Sizer and Abriana Rondin join the Penguins as some of the most prolific goal scorers in Ohio state history. Rondin played her soccer at Luthern West and finished her career with 134 goals, which is tied for the seventh most all-time in Ohio. On the other hand, Sizer racked up 114 goals and 48 assists during her career at Waynesville.