Women's Soccer Picked Fourth in NJAC Preseason Poll

Montclair, NJ (8/26/08) – The Montclair State women’s soccer team was picked fourth in the 2008 New Jersey Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. Montclair received one of the 10 first-place votes from the league’s head coaches.

Three-time defending champion The College of New Jersey was chosen first with eight first-place votes followed by Rowan (one first-place vote) and Richard Stockton. After MSU, Kean was next followed by William Paterson, Ramapo, Rutgers-Camden, Ramapo, Rutgers-Newark and New Jersey City.

Last season, MSU finished 9-9-1 overall and fourth in the regular-season standings at 6-3. The Red Hawks edged Kean 3-2 in the opening round of the NJAC Tournament in come-from-behind fashion before falling to TCNJ in the semifinals, 1-0.

Montclair opens its season on Saturday, August 30 as the Red Hawks take on Lynchburg College in the Haverford Kickoff Classic in Haverford, PA. It will be the sixth time in the last eight years that the two teams will open the year against one another. Last year, Lynchburg record a 3-1 win.

Head coach Eileen Blair returns eight starters from last year’s team including four All-Conference selections and three of its top four scorers.

Juniors Natalia Sisti ( Lincoln Park, NJ / DePaul) and Liza Offreda (East Rutherford, NJ / Midland Park) and sophomore Christyn Scillieri ( Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) are all back after combining for 26 goals and 66 points. Sisti, a Second-Team All-NJAC pick, led the group with 11 goals and tied with Scillieri for the team lead with six assists. Scillieri (Honorable Mention All-NJAC) had a solid first season with Montclair scoring 10 times in addition to her assist total while Offreda (Honorable Mention All-NJAC) shook off early-season injuries to finish with five goals and two assists.

Also back is sophomore defender Stefani Elefther ( Rivervale, NJ / Pascack Valley), who earned Honorable Mention status in the league in 2007. Senior captains Nicole Kogut ( Swedesboro, NJ / Kingsway) and Angela Martone (Toms River, NJ / Toms River South) along with fellow classmate Jen Kelleher (Englishtown, NJ / Old Bridge) complete the returning field players while junior goalkeeper Leah Tepperman (North Andover, MA / North Andover) rounds out the returning starters.

Montclair State early-season schedule has the Red Hawks on the road for the first five contests as MSU be off for 10 days before traveling to Centenary College on September 10. Montclair will then take part in the Wellesley Invitational in Massachusetts for the third consecutive year on September 13-14. The Red Hawks will be at home for the first time on Wednesday, September 17 as they face Stevens at Sprague Field (7:00 pm). Montclair State’s first NJAC contest is scheduled for Saturday, September 20 at Rowan with its conference home opener set for Wednesday, September 24 against Rutgers-Newark at Sprague Field (7:00 pm).