Despite losing two All-Americans to graduation, the Rutgers women’s soccer team is poised for yet another successful season.
When the Scarlet Knights open the 2010 season tonight against Stony Brook, they will be returning eight of 11 starters from a year ago. Included among those returning are the top six goal scorers.
Rutgers starts the season ranked No. 18 in the NSCAA poll and No. 19 in the TopDrawer Soccer poll. With 87.2 percent of their offense from last year returning, Rutgers is prepared to take on a tough 2010 schedule.
This season, the Scarlet Knights will play nine teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Three of those teams —Portland, Notre Dame, and Boston College— advanced to the Elite Eight or beyond. Those three, as well as West Virginia, start the season ranks in the NSCAA Preseason Top-25.
Gina DeMaio, Tricia DiPaolo, and Karla Schacher are this years team captains. All three will likely be in the starting lineup.
DeMaio has been named to the 2010 Watch List for the MAC Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual award presented in college soccer. This is the second straight year she has been named to the list.
The redshirt senior was also named a Preseason All-Big East honoree. DeMaio is currently tied for second in Rutgers history for career assists and second in shots on goal. She is already one of the most decorated players in school history.
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