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Fall Sports Player Preview: Get to know the Women's Soccer Freshmen

UB Athletics

Today's the last day of the individual player previews for the Fall. Over the weekend I'll have a few posts to collectively cover the names that didn't get individual posts, and Monday begins our broader team previews.

We've already hit the Volleyball freshmen and the first-year players on Men's Soccer. Women's Soccer brings a larger group than the men, and has a much broader range of possibilities than volleyball, so it's a little harder to project things out without encroaching on next week's planned pieces. But after last year's freshman group brought two every-game starters and and every-game sub, somebody or two of this group is going to contribute despite loads of returning experience and some big-name transfers.

Forwards

Players with returning experience: Celina Carrero*, Carissima Cutrona, N'Dea Johnson, Alex Lambert, Andrea Niper(?)

Freshmen

Brianna Shingary - Shingary, like Niper, is a midfield-forward hybrid (hence the (?) above). She comes from an area that's been especially good for the Bulls: Jackie Hall and 2014 seniors Megan Giesen and Katie Roberts are all from the same area as Shingary's Medina hometown.

Shingary herself comes to UB after a First Team All-Ohio senior year in which she scored 19 goals and contributed 11 assists, though she was originally committed to Cleveland State before a Vikings coaching change opened the way for Burke and Buffalo.

On the field, Shingary has earned praise from Coach Burke for her versatility and pace, and while I'll just link to a highlight video rather than embed it, you'll see in there a player comfortable attacking from a variety of positions with good vision and a quick shot.

Rebecca Bramble - The first of two Canadian recruits in this post, Bramble unlike Shingary is a true forward. I can't find anything in the way of highlights for her, but she comes from a highly successful club program in Brams United, with whom she's won three national club championships in Canada, while also playing on the Ontario Provincial team. It's a little harder to get good info on Canadians because there's little in the way of high-level scholastic competition, but Burke specifically praises her all-around ability at the forward position.

Midfielders

Returning experience: Kassidy Kidd*, Julia Benati*, Andrea Niper, Moira Petrie, Alex Lambert, Ashley Evans, Kori Hughes, Angel Hart (?)

Rachel Villalta - Rachel comes to UB from Shattuck-St. Mary's, a Minnesota boarding school best known for their hockey programs but also excelling in soccer. More importantly, she comes in at a position of need for UB as a defensively-minded central midfielder. I'm not sure if Villalta will move all the way to starting minutes as a true freshman, but the opening is there and unlike other spots, Courtney Mann was rarely subbed out in 2014, so there's less returning experience in that specific role.

Nicole Gerritz - The most local of UB's incomers, Gerritz joins UB after a Third Team All-NYS campaign at Rochester-area Webster-Thomas High School. Burke has specifically praised her hard work and "blue collar mentality," and a Youtube search reveals a half-dozen goals (she scored twelve as a senior) and a player unafraid to play through contact, take a shot from distance, or fight to put a header on net.

Defenders

Returning experience: Kristin Markiewicz*, Jackie Hall*, Angel Hart* (?), Dana Lytle, Kori Hughes (?), Jessica Marlowe

Kayla Hospodka - Another New Yorker, Hospodka is a "hard-nosed defender" who won multiple Class A New York State Championships in her time at Rockville Center South Side High School while also playing club soccer with the Albertson Fury. South Side is a powerhouse even amongst strong competition on Long Island, having won seven state championships since 2004. Burke characterizes Hospodka as a strong defender who can attack from the flanks. UB has two returning starters on the edge of the defense, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Angel Hart move around in the lineup, and maybe there's an opening there.

Meghan Simmons - Simmons signed with Buffalo later in the recruiting process after originally committing to Kentucky. I'm not sure what happened that she dropped the Wildcats, but Kentucky is a solid program, having advanced to three of the last four NCAA Tournament. Simmons is a former teammate of Bramble's at Brams United and has a similar list of accomplishments at both the provincial and national level in Canada.

Unlike Hospodka, Meghan plays in the middle of the defense, and seems to have the best shot of any freshman to crack the starting lineup this year as UB looks to replace Sophie Therien. Coach Burke said as much a few months ago upon her commitment, and the pedigree and SEC attention certainly backs it up.

***
Notes: " * " denotes a returning starter, " (?) " a player who's listed in multiple positions on the roster. UB also announced one more incoming freshman this spring in Lindsay Sammis, but she has decided to play for Kansas instead. Additionally, Buffalo has another newcomer in midfielder Isabella Borini, but she's neither a transfer nor a freshman, joining the team after two years on UB's Track and Field team.


Go Bulls