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Women's Soccer Preview: Bobcats revved up for opener vs. Ephs

Tina Tobin '12 led Bates in scoring for the second straight year in 2010, with five goals and four assists. (File photo)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College women's soccer program begins its 2011 campaign with a new head coach for the first time in 17 years. Head coach Kelsy Ross takes over a program that finished 6-8-2 in 2010 and made it to the semifinals of the NESCAC women's soccer championship, and she and her team are ready. Saturday's season-opening game against Williams College starts at 11 a.m. on Russell Street Field. The game can be followed online via live video webcast and by live stats.

"The 2011 season will be a catalyst for the future success of the program,"said Ross. "We return a core group from 2010 and with the addition of first-year impact players, we are optimistic the program will remain highly competitive."

Key returning players include senior Tina Tobin (Lowell, Mass.), whose quickness in the open field and tenacity on the pitch were key for the Bobcats as she led the team in goals scored in 2010. This year she leads the team as one of two captains.

The second co-captain is senior goalkeeper Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.). Burns will direct a veteran defense from between the pipes with her unmatched athleticism. In 2010, she led the conference in saves (84) and was second in saves per game averaging 5.6.

Other key players who will anchor this year's squad include senior Courtney Talcott (Sutton, Mass.), a central midfielder who is active on both offense and defense. Amanda Sirianni (Holliston, Mass.), an athletic senior back, is an intelligent defender with a nose for joining the attack. Junior Elizabeth "Bud" Arens (Weymouth, Mass.) will provide pace and discipline out of the back along with her accurate skill on set pieces.