With a roster chock-full of young talent, Tassinari has the Lions in a position to compete both this season and in the future.,With a 32-15-5 record over the past three seasons, the Emerson women's soccer team has certainly enjoyed success. According to Coach Jason Tassinari, though, the program has only begun to show its potential.
With a roster chock-full of young talent, Tassinari has the Lions in a position to compete both this season and in the future. The team features 10 freshmen and eight sophomores, with only three juniors and five seniors.
"We've made a conscious decision to bring in freshman that could compete to start right away," Tassinari said. "They will be the foundation of our program this year and for years to come."
Of those freshmen, some have already made an impact. Caroline Devin, Lindsay D'Andrea, Hannah Cotier and Lisa Viccione have already started games for the Lions. Devin has contributed two goals and two assists this season, and fellow freshman Brittany Jones has a goal of her own.
The team has enjoyed positive results early on, with a 2-1-1 record. The Lions tied Umass Dartmouth, 3-3, in the season opener before defeating Eastern Nazarene College 6-0. On Saturday, the team was able to score the team's first Great Northeast Athletic Conference victory of the season, a 2-1 triumph over Mount Ida that was decided with just three minutes to play on a goal by sophomore forward Rachel Lerma.
A major strength for the Lions this year is depth. The roster features 26 players, seven more than in 2006.
Mallory Moretti, a senior captain and broadcast journalism major, said the team's depth will allow them to compete with the best teams in the GNAC.
"We have tremendous talent and skill in all 26 players on our roster," Moretti said. "This is the first year that I think our coach will have trouble with calling people in and out of the games because we have just as much talent off the field as we do with our starters."
The team's biggest loss was the graduation of six seniors, the majority of whom patrolled the backfield. As a result, this year's team will feature an entirely new defensive unit. Despite the loss, Tassinari is confident his new defense will get the job done.
"The defense is young, but I think they're ready to take the next step," Tassinari said. "They're a capable, confident and focused group of backs."
Luckily for the Lions, behind those young backs,is a goalkeeped with plenty of experience. Returning is senior keeper Katie Hartman, one of the team's three captains. Hartman allowed only 1.92 goals per game last season as the team's starter.
This year also marks the final season for Tassinari's first group of recruits, whom he brought in when he took over the program in 2004. Captains Moretti, Casey Whalen, and Hartman will be playing their final season, along with fellow seniors Sara Hogan and Sarah Kneezle.
"The seniors hold a special place for me," Tassinari said. "Every step of the way, they've been on board with both feet for the program. They've set an example and been tremendous ambassadors for us."
Moretti said she hopes to set a good example for the younger players.
"From our two scrimmages and our first few games I believe we've been very successful and productive in our roles as captains," Moretti said. "I truly hope that all the underclassmen look up to us and value our opinions and advice on and off the field."
Although the results have been positive, Tassinari was cautious about looking too far ahead, but said he expects good things from his team this year.
"It's too early to write our own history," Tassinari said. "But I know we'll be competitive if things come together the way they can."