YSU SOCCER Penguins begin new era with new coach, 10 vets
Anthony James takes over the program, which was 2-17 last season.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Anthony James is set to begin his first season as coach of the Youngstown State women's soccer program.
James, who came to YSU from West Virginia Wesleyan, will rely on 10 returning starters as the Penguins seek to improve from last season's 2-17 (1-5 Horizon League) record. YSU did record its first league victory since joining the Horizon League in 2001.
Three seniors -- Kim Jugenheimer, Lauren Ausmundson and Mia Railing -- lead the way. Other returnees include juniors Casey Dick, Katie Deprey and Jessica Yarter, and sophomores Maddie Lawther and Maura Patton.
"If we become better players and we become better as a team that will give us an opportunity to be successful in the future," James said.
Best in Horizon
Last season, Railing, the goal keeper, led the Horizon League with 123 saves and collected eight or more saves nine times.
"Mia has proven herself on all levels," James said. "She brought a lot to the table last year and proved herself and I think that she is one of the best goal keepers in the league."
Juniors Jennifer Jennings and Caitlin Bestard are the backups in goal. Bestard was the starting goalie in 2002 and ranked fourth in the nation with 9.26 saves per game.
In the front of the keepers, James has a mixed group that will anchor the defensive line, including Dick, Patton, sophomore Laura Mauer and Akron transfer Katie Duracky.
Leading the offensive line will be Yarter, the Penguins' top scorer from last year, along with Jugenheimer, Deprey and Lawther. Last season, Yarter led YSU with five goals, while Jugenheimer broke the school record for most goals and most points in a game.
Lawther, who is coming off a strong freshman campaign, will also be a scoring threat for the Penguins. Last season she started 16 games, scored three goals and had two assists.
Anchoring the mid-game will be Lauren Ausmundson, sophomore Corey Cardone and Jugenheimer.
Tied assist record
Last season, Cardone tied the school record for most assists in a game with three against Delaware State. She also scored two goals.
The Penguins have much optimism with their 2004 recruiting class, which numbers seven.
"I am very excited to see our newcomers," said James. "They are the foundation of this program and I am confident they will bring a lot to YSU on and off the field."
Along with Duracky, Sadie Brookman and Roberta Johnson are transfers from West Virginia Wesleyan. Tessa Brookman (Morgantown, W.Va.), Britta Snowberger (New Enterprise, Pa), Casey Taylor (Oakland, Md.), Kara Vezza (Semickley, Pa.) and Brittny Humphrey (Liberty) were high school seniors last year.
Brookman and Johnson both played for James at West Wesleyan. Last season, Brookman was a second-team NSCAA Division II All-American. She had six goals and six assists while starting 19 of 21 games for the Bobcats. Johnson added seven goals and four assists to help their team to a 16-3-2 record.