As former Colonie High School standout Caitlin Colfer begins her second season as the University at Albany women’s soccer head coach, she will be mixing in returning players with her first recruiting class.
“That’s always an important step,” said Colfer, whose Great Danes went 1-6-1 in America East play and 2-14-1 overall in her first season. “The other coaches — Nick Bochette and Mark Van Leuven — and I went all over the country looking for players.”
Included in her first recruiting class are a pair of players from Section II — Angela Luizzi of Guilderland and Morgan Loder, who finished her career at Cobleskill-Richmondville with 137 varsity goals.
“There are some very talented players in this area,” said Colfer. “We’re always looking to recruit from the area.”
Colfer and Luizzi have a history. Colfer, then going into her first head coaching position at Sage College, recruited Luizzi, who opted for Hartwick College.
Luizzi led the Hawks with five assists, and also scored six goals last fall in her freshman year.
“When she decided to change schools, she reached out to us,” Colfer said.
The biology major will be in the mix at midfield this fall.
“I see Ang as a central midfielder, or maybe an outside mid,” said Colfer. “She fits into the style we want to play.”
Colfer, who scored over 100 goals in Suburban Council games while playing for Colonie, sees a kindred soul in Loder, who had 58 goals last fall.
“No matter the level of competition, to score that many goals shows she has a knack for it,” Colfer said. “And Morgan is a very technical player who will fit the possession oriented style we want to play.”
Colfer also pointed to the two players’ success at the club level. Luizzi played for the Alleycats; Loder played her club soccer for Capital United.
“They both have strong backgrounds in club soccer, which helped their development as players,” Colfer said.
Colfer will have just two seniors on her roster as she looks to move up in the AE standings.
“We’re a medium-sized school, but we offer pretty much every major,” she said. “That’s something that we can offer as we recruit”
Her own experience as a DI player also helps.
“I know that’s something that some players look for,” Colfer said. “It does help, in that they know that I’ve been there, done that.”
Colfer has a total of seven players coming in, including a pair of defenders and a goalkeeper. There are two other transfers, in addition to Luizzi.
Katie Carnell, who comes in as a junior after helping Edmonds CC to a regional final in her home state of Washington, and freshman Alex Dencker, who played at Newburgh Free Academy, are listed as defenders.
Alana Olivieri. a three-year starter in goal for Rochester’s Our Lady of Mercy, comes in as a freshman after redshirting last fall at Buffalo.
Vivian Vega. a former member of the Mexican U17 national team, comes in as a freshman after scoring
100-plus goals for her high school team in California. Kelsey Luke will be the first player from Colorado to play DI soccer at UAlbany. She played for the top-ranked high school team in her home state.