2012 Valparaiso Women's Soccer Preview
Thursday, August 16, 2012
2012 Valparaiso Women's Soccer Preview
Janine Lytle is one of the returning seniors in the back for the Crusaders. (William Liu)

Coming off an eight-win campaign in 2011, including a third-place finish within the Horizon League, the Valparaiso women’s soccer team heads into the 2012 season with high hopes of making a push for the top of the league standings this year.  The Crusaders return 15 letterwinners from last year’s squad, including seven regular starters, and add nine newcomers as they open the season Friday at Brown Field against IUPUI at 6:15 p.m.

“Preseason is just that, it's a dress rehearsal for the season ahead,” said Marovich. “I think we’ve learned a lot about ourselves this preseason - not just from a soccer standpoint, but also mentally and physically. I think the lessons that we've learned and how we deal with them will help build the foundation for our season. We took a lot of positives out of camp, and we also learned some things that we've turned our attention toward fixing, but in the end, that's what the preseason is for.”

Coaching Staff

Head coach – John Marovich – entering fifth season; 34-29-14 through first four seasons as head coach of the Crusaders

Assistant coach – Vanessa Vella – second season

Director of soccer operations – Sarah Melhorn – second season


#0 Kristen Manski – Jr. – 6-5-5, seven shutouts, 0.92 GAA in 2011 – GAA and shutouts both ranked third in a single season in team history – ranks second in program history with a career GAA of 1.06 and third with 12 shutouts

#10 Sarah Silvasi – Fr. – All-State honoree as a senior – led Dexter (Mich.) H.S.  to district title – goalkeeper for Michigan Hawks squad which won U-18 ECNL national championship

“Obviously, Kristen is our returning goalkeeper, and she’s had a great camp,” said Marovich. “I think the experience she’s had has put her in a great situation to work with our back line. Sarah has been a fantastic addition to the program as well. She's certainly done well in camp, and her experience with her club team, winning the national championship, gives her composure and confidence to step in if we need her to. She's certainly earned my confidence during camp so far.”


#14 Katie Gratzianna – Jr.  - Came off the bench to make 11 appearances in 2011 – scored first career goal last year against Bowling Green

#15 Erika Schoemann – So. – Appeared in four matches off the bench in her freshman season

#17 Amanda Ulin – Jr. – Started all 19 matches in the back in 2011 for squad which surrendered second-fewest goals in a single season in program history – has started 36 of 37 matches in her first two seasons as a Crusader

#21 Tara Ellis – Jr. – Appeared in four matches off the bench in 2011 – has made 16 total appearances through her first two seasons

#23 Janine Lytle – Sr. – Team captain - has started all 58 matches for the Crusaders through her first three seasons – was a Second Team All-League honoree as a sophomore – scored match-winning goal against Coastal Carolina last year

#25 Taylor Colliau – Fr. – League MVP and All-CIF Southern Section Division 6 First Team honoree as a senior – led team to division semifinals as a senior – selected for the CIF Inter-Division All-Star Game

#26 Shelby Oelschlager – Fr. – Honorable Mention All-State honoree and First Team All-Region selection – played club for Sereno SC, an eight-time state champion which participates in the ECNL

“Our back line has been a pretty organized group in the recent past, and we bring back some good experience in that third of the field,” said Marovich. “We'll be looking for that same kind of defensive stability we’ve had in that group in the past. We also have some younger players in the group who have had good camps, and we feel they will continue the stellar defense we’ve had over the past several years.”


#5 Trisha Wladecki – Sr. – Appeared in all 19 matches in 2011, starting 11 times – has played in all 58 matches over her first three seasons – picked up three assists as a junior – enters senior year with seven career helpers

#6 Rachel Hoaglin – Sr. – Team captain – Second Team All-Horizon League in 2011 – led Crusaders as a junior with six goals and three assists for 15 points – enters senior year fifth in program history in points (36) and sixth in goals (14) – has started 50 of her 57 career matches

#7 Kristen Warner – So. – Appeared in seven matches off the bench for the Crusaders as a freshman in 2011

#8 Rachel Sheehan – So./Fr. – Redshirted in 2011 to retain four years of eligibility

#11 Hailey Chmela – Jr. – Came off the bench to appear in nine matches in 2011 – has appeared in 26 contests through her first two seasons

#12 Rita Craven – Fr. – All-Midwest selection as a senior after earning All-State honors as a junior – helped lead Lincoln-Way North (Ill.) H.S. to a pair of conference and regional titles

#16 Kelsey Draper – So. – Named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team – started all 19 games for the Crusaders as a freshman in 2011 – picked up one goal and one assist during rookie season

#18 Abby Kenyon – So. – Appeared in 13 matches as a freshman in 2011, making one start – registered a pair of assists, including one in the Horizon League Tournament

#20 Lauren Gagnon – Jr. – Saw action in 15 matches in 2011, making one start – has appeared in 32 matches through her first two seasons, starting 12 times – picked up a goal and an assist as a freshman

#22 Jenny Fassbinder – Fr. – Played club soccer for St. Croix Scorpions – helped lead squad to Minnesota State Cup title in 2012 – club was a National Cup finalist in 2011 after winning Region II title

“Our midfielders are a large group within our team, and it's made for a fantastic battle throughout camp,” said Marovich. “When you mix some young, talented players with a number of talented returnees - what I think it does is it gives us a lot of depth; it gives us a group of kids who will give us flexibility in other parts of the park. They won't just help us in the midfield, but also as substitutes up top or in the back. We have a good group of kids in the mix, and I think it will take some work to sort themselves out for roles on how to best utilize their talent within our team.”


#3 Luisa Desario – Sr. – Team captain - Second Team All-Horizon League in 2011 – tallied five goals and two assists as a junior – enters season sixth in Crusader history with 14 goals and seventh with 35 points – has started 55 of 58 matches through her first three seasons

#4 Jordyn Ryfiak – Fr. – A First Team All-State selection as a senior after scoring a school-record 29 goals – helped squad to 18-3-1 mark during senior season – three-time All-District honoree

#9 Catherine Terrell – Sr. – Appeared in 11 matches in 2011, starting 10 times – led the Crusaders with four assists, tied for ninth-most in a single year in program history – owns three goals and five assists through her first three seasons

#13 Sarrah Ludwig – Fr. – A three-time All-Conference and two-time All-Sectional honoree – helped Downers Grove South (Ill.) H.S. finish third in the state as a senior

“With our forward group, we have two experienced seniors along with two young freshmen,” said Marovich. “Luisa and Cat have done a good job of being able to combine and given us a lot of points in the past. Both Jordyn and Sarrah have the ability to find their way onto the park and learn from our two seniors and feed off of them. I really like the overall pace of our front line, along with their ability to hang onto the ball and be technical.”

“We’ve just got to be really concerned about ourselves right now,” said Marovich about the start of the regular season. “It’s not about our opposition, it’s about getting ourselves to the standard we have for our performance, so that we are really building towards the Horizon League season. Playing these pre-league games, while we want to win every game, it's really about getting the team prepared to contend for the Horizon League championship.”