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2011 Preview: Women's Soccer


West Windsor, N.J. -- While weather may be putting a damper on opening scrimmages for some MCCC teams, new head coach for women's soccer Michelle Ogborn-Haywood couldn't be happier with what she saw on the field Aug. 25 against Felician College.

Although the scrimmage was cut short by rain, Ogborn-Haywood says the last few weeks of drills and conditioning appear to be paying off on the field. "Everyone was moving the ball well, changing the field, and making quick passes. I was so happy with their motion and their aggressiveness."

Ogborn-Haywood is still tweaking the roster to figure out which players will be effective in multiple positions. On offense she will definitely count on freshmen Chelsea Pitonyak (Yardville, NJ/Steinert), Megan Constance (Robbinsville, NJ/ Robbinsville), and Nicole Tafrow (Hamilton, NJ/Nottingham) on wing. Tafrow was named team captain just weeks into practices for her commitment and positive attitude.

Samantha Biondi (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert) is back in the line-up after an injury last year. Biondi will anchor the midfield, along with freshman Alyssa Donohue (Bordentown, NJ/Bordentown), who is a fierce competitor and fast to the ball.

Ogborn-Haywood expects Chelsea Arnold (Ewing, NJ/Ewing) to be the backbone of the defense. "Chelsea is strongly built and can cover a lot of ground. We expect her to take care of business," she said. Ogborn-Haywood adds that there are a number of other strong players who will see time on the field.

"All I can ask for is their best. I know we are miles farther than we were at the start of practice a few weeks ago," Ogborn-Haywood says. She adds that the camaraderie among the players is strong. "That so important, especially for women. In my experience, they do their best when they feel they are part of something great. It's a family kind of deal."

The Vikings play away tomorrow, Aug. 27, in their season opener against powerhouse Monroe CC (Rochester) at 1 p.m. Their first home game is against Harcum CC on Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.

Ogborn-Haywood is assisted by Mike DeAngelis and Nicole Hover.

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