Monroe returns to Lady Raiders’ bench

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton-Montgomery Community College Lady Raiders are gearing up for the 2013 season as the program welcomes back a familiar face.

Rich Monroe is set to reclaim his spot as the head coach of the FMCC Lady Raiders soccer team this fall. Monroe was the head coach from 2009-2011. After a year away in which Hanna Halloran succeeded him, Monroe is back and coaching the Lady Raiders along with assistant and men’s soccer head coach Donn Truax.

Like in seasons past, filling out a team continues to be an issue for the FMCC women’s soccer program.

“Numbers have always been our biggest hurdle,” Monroe said. “Last year I think it was tough. Right now I only have about 10 on my roster. We’re hoping to have at least 14 or15 minimum.”

Cari Cestone, Maris Plank and Leah Reinke are returning for a second season with the team. Sisinia Macchiarelli, primarily a goalkeeper last season for the Lady Raiders, will be back and moving to a field position. Amanda Edwards will be coming on to take over the starting goalkeeper role.

Newcomers joining Edwards include Hannah Cromie, Katerina Tsampasis, Kelly VanNostrand, Angelica Perez, Alexis Hime and Ahjae Jackson.

Monroe is confident that an influx of international students to campus this week will result in new recruits.

“Usually we get some additional players that didn’t know anything about the soccer program,” said Monroe.

Monroe will hope to return the women’s soccer team to glory days of old. In Monroe’s second season with the team he led the Lady Raiders to the regional tournament for the first time in 15 years. The main goal for the team this season is to keep improving in hopes of building the program for years to come.

“We’re going to have to really learn the game of soccer and play as a team to be successful,” Monroe said. “I just want to be able to compete in every game.”

The first game of the season is a home game on September 8 as the Lady Raiders welcome the Onondaga Lazers.