The Connecticut College women's soccer team is set to kick off the 2014 season Friday with a 4:45 p.m. game against Albertus Magnus College.
The team returns a talented nucleus, including Cathy and Annie Higgins of West Hartford, Conn. who both enjoyed immediate success on the soccer field for Head Coach Norm Riker last fall.
Annie was feted as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year, the first Camel to do so in the past decade. She shared the team lead with eight points, scoring two goals while assisting on four others.
Cathy proved to be a gifted playmaker in the midfield who will build on a successful rookie campaign for Connecticut College.
"This past off-season was a pivotal point in the development of our program," Cowie-Haskell said. "The dedication and unity of the team strengthened over the winter and into spring as we met consistently for early morning practices and lifted in small weight groups. I think it raised the standard for summer workouts and coming in ready for a new season. The team is looking strong so I am excited for our first game!"
Cowie-Haskell has proved to be a talented defender that is capable of protecting the back line and changing fields with her powerful right leg.
Kempainen is no stranger to making big plays in the midfield. Her game-winning boot against a top-10 ranked Middlebury College team in 2012 propelled the Camels into the post-season for the first time in five years.
Riker welcomes the return of senior Rebecca Raymond, who excels in set pieces with her strong left foot.
The team also welcomes 10 newcomers to the fold.
Alexa Tribelli, a rookie midfielder from Cranston, R.I. brings championship experience to the program and is excited to join the Camel women's soccer program.
"The day I visited Coach Norm and Coach Bridgi on campus at Connecticut College, I immediately knew my college search was over," Tribelli said. "Both coaches have created a culture of commitment and motivation, instilling it in the minds of every single player. Together we talked about having the will to win, and my past soccer experience of enjoying success with my club team, Bayside F.C. and my high school team, LaSalle Academy and whether or not I would be able to help this become a next level team. After being honored with multiple high school awards such as All-State, and winning multiple state championships at the high school and premier level I knew this team was exactly where I belonged. When I met this team for the first time I could feel how excited everyone was for the upcoming season, and how optimistic they all were that we would succeed. The passion and heart every member of this team has is so admirable, I feel honored to play with such a great group of girls who push and support each other every time we step on The Green. Being a freshman in the NESCAC is definitely very intimidating, especially at my size but I never let it affect me and just focus on my role of what I need to do in order for the camels to succeed. I cannot express how ready I am for this season. This team is filled with talented, smart soccer players of whom I am grateful to be surrounded by. I firmly believe that with the heart and passion this team has, we are going to shock a lot of people this season."
Riker welcomes the return of Brigi Palatino, Connecticut College Class of 2012, who enters her third season as an assistant coach with the program.
Rob Brule and John Lehet will also return to the sidelines as volunteer assistant coaches for the Camels.