“I think we can be very good,” Khettry said of his team. “One of the things I’ve been most pleasantly surprised by is the level of player I’ve inherited. It’s very good.
“We keep the ball on the ground very well, and we’re starting to become really good competitors in training,” Khettry continued. “That’s who we have to be as a team.”
Stetson went just 3-13-1 in 2012, but the team returns nine out of 11 starters from a year ago. For the Hatters to achieve the type of success that they strive for, it’s going to take hard work and consistency according to Khettry.
“I’ve tried to get them to understand that every time we have a really good practice, we need to follow it up with another really good practice, because it then becomes a habit,” he said. “Once I feel that we can become a team that can practice and train at a consistently high level, then I can see us being successful.”
A strong group of seniors will lead the way for Stetson this fall, and Khettry couldn’t be more impressed with the class thus far.
“They work hard consistently in training,” Khettry said of the seniors. “They have to be leading in training every single day, and that’s what they have been doing. I can’t say enough about how much they bring to our team on a daily basis.”
Victoria Troccoli started all but one match in goal for Stetson in 2012, and she will be counted on to lead the way again this fall. She finished her first season with the Hatters third in the Atlantic Sun Conference with 73 saves, recorded a .689 save percentage, and notched a 2.09 goals-against average.
Another senior in just her second year with the Hatters, Amber Grose will anchor the midfield for the second straight campaign. Last year she started all 17 games, scored one goal, and recorded two assists while logging a team high 1,411 minutes.
Virginia Davis and Alexis Trybinski will provide leadership on the back line for the Hatters in 2013. The former started 13 games in the back last season, while the latter will transition from an offensive role to an outside back position. Trybinski scored one goal and assisted on another in 13 games as a junior.
Alyssa Welsh and Kait Jones, the two players with the most career points scored on the team, will lead the offensive attack for Stetson in 2013. Welsh has accumulated 11 goals and six assists during her three years with the Hatters, while Jones has scored four goals and added two assists coming into her senior season.
Khettry will look to underclassmen to help lead as well in his first season at the helm. He will find that help in a group of sophomores who are quickly becoming veterans of the program.
“I think it’s important to develop leadership, so we have three captains, but we also have three vice captains,” Khettry said. “Those vice captains are all sophomores; Autumn Matthews, Makeshia Lucien, and Mara Keomanivane. They’re also proving to be three of the hardest working players on the team.”
Fans will find all three of these second year players up the middle for the Hatters in 2013. Lucien begins this fall where she left off last season, leading the defense from a central position. Matthews, meanwhile, will slide up to a defensive midfield position to start the season. Keomanivane, who led the Hatters with three goals as a freshman, joins Grose as a central midfielder.
Sophomores Danielle Hurme and Jenna Premo, each of whom scored one goal as freshmen in 2012, will provide depth to the Hatter offense this season. Rebecca Oser and Matha Stubbs, who round out the sophomore class, will help strengthen the Stetson defense in 2013.
With many of its players being able to contribute from multiple positions, the freshmen class will provide plenty of flexibility for the Hatters.
“There are a number of freshmen who can contribute, but there are also a number of them who we feel we can develop into better players over the course of their four years,” Khettry said about the team’s group of first year players. “It’s a good class.”
Kaitlynn Landry and Brianne Boldrin have seen most their preseason action as outside backs, but can also play in the midfield, or up top. Ashni Deschenes and Paige Law will primarily work as forwards for the Hatters. Victoria Marsh, Eduarda Pavao, Alyssa Swett, and Laurie Scott will provide depth for Stetson throughout the back and midfield.
The 2013 version of the Stetson women’s soccer team is now set to start the regular season, but the head coach has goals that don’t revolve around winning and losing.
“I hope we’re a group of people who step out onto the field and compete every day, who work hard, and who try to play our style,” Khettry said of this team’s identity. “I think if we can do that consistently, we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”