Women's Soccer to Begin Preseason Training on Wednesday

Vickie Havas was a first team All-Horizon League pick last year.
Vickie Havas was a first team All-Horizon League pick last year.

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland State women's soccer team will begin its preseason training on Wednesday (Aug. 6) with a two sessions. The first training session will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the afternoon workout slated for 3:30 p.m.

Under the direction of first-year head coach Sonia Curvelo, the Vikings return eight starters and 21 letterwinners from last year's squad.

The team will play two preseason exhibtion games, hosting Buffalo at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday (Aug. 12) and traveling to St. Francis on Saturday (Aug. 16) at 2:00 p.m.

Those contests lead up to the regular season opener on Friday (Aug. 22) with a 10:00 p.m. EST contest at UC-Santa Barbara.

Following is a season preview for the 2014 Vikings.


A new era is set to begin with the Cleveland State women's soccer program as Sonia Curvelo takes the reigns as the second head coach in program history.

Curvelo arrives at CSU after five successful seasons at Mississippi Valley State where she led the Devilettes to a league title and berth in the NCAA tournament in 2012. With an appearance in the NCAA tournament as a player in 2005, Curvelo has the championship experience to help the Vikings take the next step.

The cupboard is not bare for the new head coach as eight starters and 21 letterwinners return from last year's squad as Curvelo is poised to lead the Vikings back to the Horizon League tournament for the first time since 2011.  

Junior Sarah Wood is expected to see the lion's share of minutes in goal after playing all but 117 minutes in the net last year. Wood, who led the Horizon League and ranked 13th in the nation with 120 saves last season, posted 5.5 shutouts and was a two-time Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week selection.

Wood, who ranks third in CSU history with 185 career saves, also ranked 15th in the country in saves per game (7.06) and 21st in save percentage (.851) last year. She posted three games of double-digit saves, including a 12 save effort at Miami (Fla.), tied for the fourth most in a game in school history.

A trio of underclassmen will provide depth behind Wood, led by sophomore Sierra Davis who played in two matches last year with one start. After playing the final 27 minutes in a win over U-Mass Lowell on Sept. 13 last season, Davis came back five days later to make two saves in a victory over Madonna.

Davis posted a 62-7-5 record in three years at South Park H.S., recording 52 shutouts and giving up just 34 goals in three seasons.

Sophomore Jane Piontkowski was on the squad last year, but did not appear in any matches. She was the team Defensive Player of the Year and an all-section team pick her senior year at Latrobe H.S.

Freshman Jamie Daniels provides the Vikings with even more depth in the net, joining the Vikings after posting a 31-10-13 record at Fairfield H.S. over the last four years. Daniels, who posted a .910 career save percentage, set the school record with 21 career shutouts.

Despite the loss of four-year starter and all-league defender Frederike Dubeau, the Vikings should once again be stout in the backline with the return of three starters and four other letterwinners.

Last year's defense tied the school record, giving up just 22 goals and posting five shutouts.
Back from that unit is sophomore Marissa Sarsfield, who was named to the Horizon League All-Newcomer team last year after starting 14 of the 15 games she played in. Sarsfield grew into one of the team's top defenders, often serving as the final defender in CSU's formation.

A pair of seniors - Sabrina Abram and Lynsay Strahorn - give the Vikings two experienced defenders who have been in the program for three years.

Abram has appeared in 26 matches during her career, including 19 starts, while Strahorn has transitioned to the backline over the last two seasons.

Strahorn, who scored two goals as a forward during her freshman season, has played 22 matches as a defender the last two seasons. She has the speed to make runs up the sideline, while also being able to quickly recover.

Juniors Jen Jankowski, Erin O'Toole, Samantha Sarmento and Elise Sailors, along with sophomore Grace Condit, will all fight for time as defenders.

Jankowski has battled injuries during her first two seasons, but has displayed talent during the 12 matches she has played in. She is a former All-Ohio selection at Medina H.S.

O'Toole has appeared in 32 matches during his first two seasons, splitting time between defense and midfield. She has scored two goals and has been a key component of CSU's defensive set-up.

Sailors, who joined the squad in the middle of the 2012 season, saw action in four contests last year, while Sarmento has played in seven matches during her first two seasons which includes an assist on the game-winning goal against Duquesne in 2012.

Condit will provide more depth to the backline after playing in one match last season which gaining experience in the collegeiate game.

The Vikings are loaded with depth, talent and experience in the midfield, returning four starters and several key reserves from last season.

Seniors Kelcey Fischer and Shea Levi are both three year starters who will provide experience and stability in the midfield. Fischer, who can also play defense, started 11 of the 16 matches she played in last year, dishing out two assists. She has tallied four goals and three assists in her career.

Levi has played center midfield for the majority of her career and has the ability to play with the ball at her feet and find open teammates. She registered a goal and two assists last season and has three goals and three assists for her career.

The duo of juniors Allie Sieradzki and Chloe Fadenholz are back for their third seasons at CSU. Sieradzki, who spent a majority of last year as a central defensive midfielder, started all 18 matches last year, while Fadenholz, who played as an outside midfielder, appeared in all 18 contests with 15 starts.

Sophomore Sarah Kaiser is an offensive minded attacking player who scored two goals in her 17 appearances (2 starts) last season. Junior Lauren Mesaros worked her way back from injuries early in her career to play in five matches last year, while sophomore Megan Barrick drew four starts last season and played in 14 contests.

Freshmen Katie Bainbridge, Payton Lewis and Ainhoa Weber enter the program having combined for more than 70 goals and 80 assists during their high school careers.

The Vikings return a majority of their firepower up front from a season ago, highlighted by junior Vickie Havas and senior Amanda Sivic who combined for 12 of CSU's 22 goals and eight of the team's 16 assists last season.

Havas, who became just the third player in school history to earn a spot on the All-Horizon League first team last season, ranked sixth in the league in points (18) and goals (7) and eighth in assists (4) last season.

Havas, who ranks third in CSU history in career goals (12) and points (33), had a streak of three straight games with a goal last year (Sept. 22 - Oct. 5), which included the game-winner in a victory over Detroit.

She was a member of the Horizon League All-Newcomer team as a freshman.

Sivic made an immediate impact for the Vikings last year after transferring from Dayton, tying for eighth in the league in goals (5) and assists (4) and ranking ninth in points (14). She gives the Vikings an experienced presence up front and has a knack for finishing in the box.

Sophomores Kaila Sargema and Haleigh Shingary are a pair of underclassmen who were able to gain some valuable experience last year. The duo will attempt to build off positive freshmen seasons.

Sargema played in eight contests last year, scoring a pair of goals on just three shots. Shingary played in 17 of the 18 contests with five starts, working her way back from a knee injury that caused her to miss the entire 2013 season.