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Friday, October 07, 2005

Wayne State Women Look to Have Most Dominant Year Yet

Wayne State Women's Preview 2005-2006

The Wayne State Women’s Hockey team has been steadily improving over coach Jim Fetter’s three years behind the bench. The 2005-06 unit is poised to take the team’s accomplishments to a new level.

"My staff and I are extremely excited about the upcoming season,” shares Fetter. “We believe our players bring the right mix of experience and talent to produce some impressive results both on and off the ice."

Fetter has the luxury of returning fourteen letterwinners from last season’s 13-17-3 (6-6-0 CHA) effort, including his entire defensive unit. The combination of experience and skill will likely produce potent results: seniors Rachel Benninger, assistant captain Peyton Patterson, Kristi Thome; and sophomore Sarah Campbell—-an all-CHA pick last season—-will lead the shut-down effort. Freshman blueliner Tina Vahnderhoeven will join this solid veteran corps.

While the defensive unit may produce quality with few surprises, the goaltender slot, while not lacking in quality, may be more of a question mark. Following the graduation of Tina Thibideau, sophomores Valery Torcotte and Tiffany Thompson will jockey for the position. While Torcotte has significantly more playing time under her belt and will likely be considered the team’s starter, the improvement efforts of Thompson cannot be ignored. “Val brings an immense amount of talent to our program and we are confident that she will have a breakout season.” Fetter recognizes. “Tiffany has worked extremely hard to put herself in a position to push for playing time and we are looking forward to having a solid goaltending tandem." Local freshman Stephanie Rees (Westland) will round out the netminder roster.

Offense is the area where the Warriors will feel graduation the most. The largest loss is unquestionably Kelly Zamora-—a 6-0 powerhouse of a forward who holds the school's all-time scoring record. Additionally, Heidi Burns and Cheryl Anderson made significant contributions as well. But Fetter is confident that the mix of returning and new players will produce unprecedented results for the Warriors. "This is definitely the most talented offensive unit we have put together since coming to Wayne State," he claims. "Our returnees bring a great wealth of experience and determination to this year's team. We are looking for huge seasons from our veteran forwards, as their example will be so important to getting our freshman settled into WSU Hockey.”

These veterans include senior captain Jessica Snelgrove (4-8-12 last season), sophomore assistant captain Ashley King (11-1-12 last season), and junior Laura Monk. Monk led the Warriors in goals during her sophomore effort (13-15-28), en route to earning All-CHA honors. At 6-0, Monk will be an effective role model for two incoming freshman in particular--not just on goal-scoring, but on how to use height and strength to effectively increase the offensive impact "Both Katrina Fenton and Sam Poyton have the size (6-1 and 5-10, respectively) and strength to be physically dominating college hockey players and they will be counted on to make immediate impacts," recognizes Fetter.

Fetter also cites the other three incoming forwards as critical parts of the Warrior effort: "Lindsay DiPietro is the quintessential three-zone player and we are excited to see her contribute to our offensive creativity. We are looking for Melissa Boal and Amanda Hungle to provide the scoring touch that we have lacked in the past.”

The potential of the Warriors has not gone unnoticed—-they sit high in the CHA preseason poll, sharing the #2 slot with Niagara. They won’t face Niagara until February, but they will contend with projected league leader Mercyhurst in mid-January.

The Warriors will open on the road October 7-8 against Bemidji State. A win could provide a valuable spark for the team’s unity: they haven’t defeated Bemidji since 2001.

Their home opener will be October 14 against St. Lawrence.


WHO’S GONE
Kelly Zamora F
Heidi Burns F
Cheryl Anderson F
Krissy Langley F
Tina Thibideau G

WHO’S NEW
Melissa Boal F
Lindsay DiPietro F
Katrina Fenton F
Amanda Hungle F
Sam Poyton F
Tina Vanderhoeven D
Stephanie Rees G

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