In the ten years of UB Women's Soccer from 2004 to 2013, only twice had any Bull matched or topped 19 points in a season: Jenny Dannecker in 2004 (6G, 7A), and Lindsey Bailey in 2008 (8G, 4A). A year ago, if you had predicted 6 goals and 7 assists from then-sophomore Celina Carrero in 2014, you'd be not only pointing to the sophomore as the Bulls' top offensive threat on the season, but one to one of the top showings of the last decade. It speaks once again to UB's championship showing that such a statline wasn't the most eye-popping on the team.
To focus on Carrero's second-fiddle status on the stat sheet to MAC Offensive Player of the Year Katie Roberts (12G, 3A) would be to ignore one of the best scoring performances of the last decade in Blue and White, as well as the stylistic differences between Roberts and Carrero. Consider that Celina still has two full seasons of eligibility with the Bulls, and six goals, seven assists, and Second Team All-MAC recognition as a sophomore looks even more promising.
Of course, in 2015, Shawn Burke may need to ask Carrero to fill a different role; in 2014 the uber-creative sophomore made a living on the edges, dribbling to create space and finishing the regular season on a five-game run that saw her pot three goals and assist on four more. From 17 October against CMU to 2 November against Toledo, Celina had a hand in seven of UB's twelve goals, including the game-winner in that MAC playoff match against the Rockets:
But that success came with something of a target forward in the middle in Roberts, who is of course gone to graduation now. The pair led the team in scoring and all told 24 of UB's 33 goals on the year involved one, the other, or both.
UB advances to MAC Semifinal with 2-0 win over UT
UB's Women Soccer team used two very pretty goals in the second half to move past Toledo, 2-0, in their quarterfinal game of the 2014 MAC Tournament. As the highest remaining seed, the Bulls will host the semifinals and finals this coming weekend, facing off against Ball State on Friday.
At times in 2014 Carrero proved dangerous at chasing down long balls - the video above unfortunately starts a little too late to highlight it - but that strategy also led to numerous offside calls, in which UB led the conference. On one hand, you can't be called offside if you're not possessing the ball and attacking, but on the other, it's a free turnover. Of course, the junior is plenty adept on the ball if she needs to play a hold-up role, but it's a lot more fun for us to watch her work in space.
Without having seen any of the spring matches, figuring out the forwards is a bit of a guessing game, especially since I'm not very familiar with the styles of Carissima Cutrona or the hopefully healthy N'Dea Johnson. With her creativity and footwork, Carrero in the middle may be the obvious option, but it's hard right now to see her moving from a role that saw so much success last season.
We'll talk lineup later in the summer when doing our comprehensive team previews. For now, here's what you need to know: Celina Carrero is unguardable, dead creative, and best suited of anyone on the roster to take advantage of the Bulls' returning experience on the wings.