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UB women’s soccer begins preseason camp on Friday

UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO ATHLETICS

"Every season brings on new challenges, new expectations and new experiences," said fifth-year head coach Shawn Burke. "As a staff, we are eager to get to work with this team in 2018 and are very excited for the potential this group has moving forward."
The Bulls will report to campus on Friday morning with their first practice of the 2018 campaign coming on Saturday inside UB Stadium. Buffalo returns 12 players from a season ago and will welcome a host of fresh faces to the program for the upcoming season. UB has nine incoming freshman and one redshirt freshman transfer that will look to make an impact on a team that won seven matches a season ago.
Despite losing a couple of quality starters from a season ago, the Buffalo offense will be returning three of their top four scorers from last season as senior captain Carissima Cutrona will look to improve on her junior campaign that saw her produce a team-best seven goals and four assists for 18 points. All-Freshman team performer Gianna Yurchak will look to build on a strong first season for the Bulls after she posted three goals and three assists while junior Kara Daly will be leaned on to produce at a high rate after she poured in a pair of goals and five helpers last season.
Sophomores Marcy Barberic and Kaitlyn Walsh will look to create some offense for the Bulls this season after combining for two goals and five assists last season. Barberic earned All-Freshman team honors for her performance while Walsh was a spark off the bench and earned 10 starts for her strong play in her first season.
Defensively, the Bulls will be returning possibly the best pair of defenders in the conference with First Team All-MAC performer Gurjeena Jandu holding down a center back position and Adrianna VanCuyck returning after a strong sophomore campaign. Seniors Rebecca Bramble and Meghan Simmons will also look to build on strong performances from a season ago as they each started at least 15 matches on defense for the Bulls.
Possibly the biggest question mark heading into the season for the Bulls is the goalkeeper position as Laura Dougall's graduation leaves a void between the pipes for UB. Dougall leaves as the Bulls all-time leader in wins (39), shutouts (33) and goals-against average (0.83).
Looking to fill the void left by the departure of Dougall will be a pair of freshman goalkeepers as Emily Kelly comes to UB from nearby Wilson high school and Sarah Bykowicz joins the team from Grand Island high school. Kelly turned into one of the best keepers in western New York over her illustrious high school career as she earned All-State honors twice while Bykowicz was able to post a 19-2-0 record during her senior season and earned All-State honors as well.
Buffalo will be leaning on some newcomers to make an impact early on in 2018 including Delaware transfer Sydney Gilmore who will get a shot at a starting spot on the backend for UB. Freshman Tess FordAbbey Callaghanand Andrea Judasz will also get looks to contribute to the stingy Buffalo defense in their first seasons with the squad. Nicole BenatiHannah CallaghanKatherine Camper and Taylor Caridi will all get their chance to help the Bulls attacking group that produced 26 goals a season ago.
The Bulls will open up their 2018 regular season on Monday, August 20 as they head to New York City to take on St. John's at 7:00 pm.
For all the latest info on the UB women's soccer program, follow @UBWomensSoccer on twitter and visit UBBulls.com.