BABSON PARK, Mass. – Led by a new head coach, the Babson College women’s soccer team hopes for another strong season this fall. The squad returns its entire starting forward line, including last year’s top goal scorer, sophomore Amy Festa (Medfield, Mass.), while featuring a new-look defense after losing Kayla Pomponi ’10 and Jacky Mozzicato ’10 to graduation. The group will be led by Nellie Pineault, who takes on her first head coaching position of her 11-year career at Babson after spending the last six years as an assistant.
Festa, a 2009 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) First Team selection, tallied a team-high 11 goals and four assists for a total of 26 points last fall. Classmate Ashley Tourso (Glen Rock, N.J.) also returns this fall after scoring six goals and adding four assists in her rookie campaign. Other key returners who should be difference makers on the Beavers’ offense are senior tri-captains Ellen McCurdy (Weston, Mass.) and Patty Pytlik (Wellesley, Mass.), who combined for eight goals and four assists last season.
Defensively the Beavers return sophomores Nichole Vargas (Warren, R.I.) and Kelly Hanly (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) as well as junior Katie Warjas (Dedham, Mass.). Senior tri-captain Kristy Benoit (Shrewsbury, Mass.) will return to the role of goalkeeper this fall after primarily playing forward last year.
Along with a solid group of veterans, Pineault brings seven rookies to this year’s squad, including first-year Meghan Andrew (Easton, Mass.) – the daughter of Babson soccer alumni Ann Bishop Andrew ’86 and Shawn Andrew ’86.
“We have a good group of returning players and a class of new first-years that really hit the ground running this preseason,” said Pineault. “Preparing for the season has been a team effort and I look forward to watching our squad work together to accomplish our goals. “
The Beavers will open up their season at home on Wednesday, September 1st at 4 p.m. when they take on Emmanuel at Hartwell-Rogers Field.