Boston, MA - The Fisher Falcons Women's Soccer team has high hopes for a bounce back season this coming fall. Second-year Head Coach Julian Crowder led his team to a 4-11-1 season in his first season at the helm and is looking to improve his team's record in 2019. Crowder and volunteer assistant and Fisher alum, Chelsea Browne, are excited to kick off the schedule this Friday when their squad hits the road to New York to take on a pair of non-conference match-ups against Yeshiva University on Friday, August 30th followed by Pratt Institute on Saturday, August 31st. "I am looking forward to the season. We have a lot of new players joining us this year and we expect big contributions from the incoming class," said Coach Crowder. "We are excited to open up in New York as it will be a great opportunity to showcase our skills."
After losing four seniors this past spring to graduation, the Falcons will have some big shoes to fill, losing two All-Conference players in Browne and Delaney McNulty. Coach Crowder anticipates that his six upperclassmen will help guide the newcomers to a postseason playoff berth in the Association of Independent Institutions (AII) conference.
The Falcons lone senior is Reilly Demers (Wilbraham, MA), a defender who was one of only two players to play all 16 contests in the 2018 campaign. Demers has really flourished this preseason in her leadership role, as she has led by example with her hard work on the field as well as bringing the team together off the pitch for team bonding activities. Sophomore Jillian DeLorey (Tampa, FL) will play alongside her on defense and is excited to contribute to her team's success.
The midfield will be led returners juniors Will Memeus (Everett, MA) and Northeastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) All-Conference player Grace Roach (Hutchinson, MN), and sophomores, Carla DaSilva (Somerville, MA) and Josie Mejia (Malden, MA). The foursome will look to control the tempo on both sides of the ball with their strong footwork and ball handling skills. Coach Crowder anticipates that both Memeus and DaSilva will also see time on the front line and will look to increase their goal outputs from last season. Memeus was third on the team in 2018 on the scoresheet, finishing with 28 (9 goals, 10 assists), while DaSilva finished as a NIAC All-Conference player with 11 points (4 goals, 3 assists).
Crowder's incoming class is highlighted by junior transfer goalkeeper, Olivia Handy (La Verne, CA) who will lead the Falcons between the pipes this fall. Handy comes to Fisher from Citrus College in California, where she hopes to make an immediate impact for her team. In front of Handy, newcomers freshman Sarah Graefe (Windermere, FL) and junior Tiffany Martinez (San Francisco, CA) hope to make strong additions to the Falcons defensive line. Coach Crowder said about the addition of Graefe, "she is a very physical player and will be able to contribute on the ground as well as in the air."
Ready to drive the offense are newcomers, freshman Olivia Sullivan (Milford, MA), and junior transfer Meghan Menzel (Big Rock, IL). Both were contributors on their respective teams last season with Menzel helping Waubonsee Community College to an impressive 17-3-1 season in 2018 with a 47 point season (19 goals, 9 assists). Coach Crowder expects both Sullivan and Menzel to be forces in the front for his Falcons.
Rounding out the Fisher roster is incoming freshman Kassie Lima (Boston, MA) who expects to contribute with her speed and work ethic as a utility player, playing any position where she is needed.
The Falcons schedule is filled with competitive teams from all over the Northeast, including NIAC opponents Washington Adventist and University of Maine-Fort Kent. This will be the first time the Falcons have faced the WAU Shock, while the Falcons fell twice to the UMFK Bengals last season and will look to avenge the two tough losses to improve their conference record. The Falcons will also face off against numerous NCAA Division III teams to improve their strength of schedule including Bay Path University, Mitchell College and Becker College. "We are looking forward to a healthy, competitive schedule. Strength of schedule will play a role in helping us getting the bid to Georgia," says Crowder.
The Falcons are on the road for the first three contests to start the 2019 campaign, but will return home for their home opener on Sunday, September 8th when they play host to the University of Maine-Presque Isle Owls, a team they defeated twice last season.
For a complete look at the 2019 schedule click here.