Sept. 1 – BETHANY, W.Va. – The 2016 season begins a new era of Bethany women’s soccer as first-year head coach Jon Arlet takes the reins of a program looking for success.
“The players have been very professional during the transition,” Arlet said.
Arlet comes to Bethany after serving as an assistant at Division II Lock Haven University, who is a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). While on staff for the Bald Eagles, Arlet assisted in all facets of the program, including the organization of training sessions and player development, as well as serving in all facets of recruiting.
No stranger to Bethany, Arlet served as an assistant for the men’s program and head coach Sean Regan in 2013.
“Sean and I were college teammates and he has been an amazing resource when transitioning to coaching collegiately,” Arlet added.
The Bison have not finished above .500 since 2011 after finishing 2015 with a 3-13-1 record, including going 1-8 in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC). However, Arlet’s approach puts Bethany’s opportunity for success in his players’ hands.
“We put a lot of honor and pride in hard work. Being competitive in games, have a positive attitude at all times, and being a good teammate will allow for short-term as well as long-term success,” said the first-year coach.
As a new head coach, Arlet is happy to inherit a roster with plenty of experience. Of the 21 players on the roster, 10 are upperclassmen.
Of those returning, senior midfielder Brittany Fullbright (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) who garnered All-PAC Honorable Mention last season gives the staff a good building block. Fullbright appeared and started in all 17 games for the Green & White, leading the Bison with nine goals and 20 points during the season and was among the team leaders with 35 shots and a .514 shot-on-goal percentage.
Other seniors include forwards Marena Cline (Follansbee, W.Va./Brooke) and Julie Slezak (Latrobe, Pa./Greater Latrobe) and midfielders Sarah London (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central) and Madison Cochran (Grafton, W.Va./Grafton). All five appeared in at least 16 games with Slezak tallying 11 points while Cline and Cochran recorded five and four points, respectively.
“This senior class is a close-knit bunch and they have played together a lot over the last three years,” Arlet said. “I look for them to work hard and secure spots on the field where they can provide a positive impact game to game.”
On defense, the Bison return junior Andrea Precurato (Austintown, Ohio/Austintown Fitch) and sophomore’s Kayla Schultz (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) and Abigail Turner (Huntington, W.Va./St. Joseph Central) who saw action in 18 and 15 contests, respectively.
At goalkeeper, the Bison return Taylor Sasak (Berea, Ohio/Berea) who appeared in all 17 games last season, making 201 saves for a 74% save pct.
Arlet believes that his group understands that there is a lot of talent on the roster, now they just need to act on it. “I have learned a lot about everyone in a short amount of time and they have bought in to what we are trying to do here.”
Bethany opens their season on Friday, Sept. 2, at Pitt-Greensburg with a 4:00 p.m. start before hosting Marietta to start the home portion of their schedule at 4:30 p.m. at Hoag Field.