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New head coach, returning players have high hopes

Pat Leonard | Thursday, August 21, 2003

The Saint Mary’s soccer team returns its leading scorer and brings in a new coach to open the 2003 season. The new blend of coach and players will meet its first test on Aug. 30 at Marietta College versus the State University of New York.Coach Peter Haring, in his first year as head coach of the Belles after working as an assistant at Valparaiso University, has an impressive resume that includes leading the girls MSA Mystique Premier U-17 team to a 20-7-2 record in two seasons. Haring was in charge of “keeper training, recruiting and strength and conditioning” at Valparaiso.”I’m definitely excited,” Haring said. “I’m coming into a good situation because the team has so much depth with so many returning players.”The Belles return their top offensive players from 2002. First team all-MIAA forward Jen Concannon tallied a team-high 30 points and 12 goals last season. “A player like Jen Concannon is going to add a lot of leadership and bring a new level of intensity,” Haring said. “Returning players bring experience.”The Belles lose second-team all-MIAA sweeper and “field general” Lynn Taylor to graduation, but they return numerous starters and have solid talent in the incoming class.”With Taylor leaving, [sophomore] Carrie Orr [ten points, four goals] will be taking over that role,” Haring said. “That will be one of the more important roles on the field this season, as Carrie tries to fill some big shoes.”Other returning players include second-team all-MIAA senior forward Wendy Irvin (19 points, nine goals) and junior midfielder Emily Wagoner (nine points, three goals).Despite the positives created by many returning contributors, Haring says the most significant addition to this year’s team is its depth.Incoming freshmen like outside midfielder Megan and attacker Carolyn Logan are making an immediate impression. Ashley Hinton and Colleen Courtney will add much needed depth to the defense.”Now we just have to piece all this together and make it work,” Haring said. “The team has a lot of potential to do a lot of good things and make a strong bid for the conference title.”The Belles finished below .500 overall and in league play with a 7-10-2 record (5-7-2) last season.