Dover, Del. (Aug. 17, 2017) --- The 2017 Delaware State women’s soccer season begins this weekend. The Hornets, under second-year head coach Kortney Rhoades, will play their season opener on Friday at Marist. Game time is 7:00 p.m. in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Game two of the new season is at home on Sunday (Aug. 20) against Wagner. The contest begins at 2:00 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.
Rhoades, a high school star at Padua Academy in Wilmington and a college standout at the University of South Carolina, led the Hornets to a 4-9-2 record in her first season at DSU in 2016, the fourth best win total in the team’s 15-year history.
The Hornets return 13 letterwinners, led by a solid sophomore class, from the 2016 team, while adding four newcomers.
The returning players include last year’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Braxton Clark (New Hampton, N.Y.) , who led the team with three goals and six points in 2016.
Sophomore forward Alexa Gibbs (Hamden, Con.) also returns. Gibbs was tied for second on the Hornets with two goals and tied for third with four points last season.
Another second-year player, Jasmine Warren (Manassas, Va.), was tied for the team high with two assists, while contributing a goal in her freshman campaign.
Rounding out the Hornets’ talented sophomore class are: Samantha Wanzor (Jackson, N.J.), Katrina Silva (Peabody, Mass.), Olivia Bullaro (Whitestone, N.Y.) and Toni Washington (Abington, Pa.).
Wanzor had a goal and assist (3 points), while Silva and Washington each tallied an assist.
Sussex Tech High School product Leslie Fazio (jr.; Lewes, Del.) will assume full-time goal keeping duties this season after appearing in seven matches as a sophomore in 2016. Fazio recorded 27 saves (.750 save pct.) and combined on one shutout last season.
Seniors Kalyn Fauntleroy (New Castle, Del. and McKenzie Miller (Cherry Hill, N.J.), along with Juniors Samantha Bahr (Toms River, N.J.), Kayleigh Leschinski (Tom River, N.J.) and Jenna Wallace (Brick, N.J.) bring valuable experience to the team.
Leschinski was tied for second on the Hornets in goals (2) and points (5), while Bahr tallied a goal and assist last season.
The 2017 Hornet newcomers include record-setting scorer Daijah Norris from Suffolk, Va. (Nansemond HS). Norris tallied 67 goals and 50 assists during her scholastic career, including a school-record 28 goals in her junior year.
Kori Johnson (Felton, Del.), a multi-sport standout at Lake Forest High School, along with former Padua Academy standout Julia Detwiler (Townsend, Del.) and Sierra Turner (Chesapeake, Va.) are also new to the Hornets this season.
Marist, also playing its season opener on Friday, was 10-9-1 in 2016, including a victory at Delaware State. The Red Foxes were picked to finish fifth in the 2017 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason poll.