Silverbacks Women Re-sign Four.

The Silverbacks Women signed four key players from the 2007 season that saw the women advance to the W-League final. The signings are the first for the 2008 squad. Returning are forward Sarah Steinmann, midfielders Tara Minnax and Melanie Schneider, and defender Monica Buff.

“Last year was a crucial building year for our program,” said Silverbacks W-League executive director Laura Fedrigo. “We saw where we need to improve in order to bring home the W-league title. Sarah, Tara, Mel and Monica have been with the team from the beginning and will be key in helping us reach that next level.”

Steinman’s 19 career goals in three years with the Silverbacks is a club best. She finished second in scoring in 2007 with six goals in eight appearances—one goal behind leading scorer Christine Lanham. In 2006 Steinman led the Silverbacks in scoring with eight goals and two assists in 13 appearances. She tallied five goals and one assist her rookie season (2005) after a four year career at Auburn University (2001-2005) where she was the SEC coaches selection for Player of the Year in 2002 and garnered All-SEC First Team honors in 2003.

Minnax leads the Silverbacks in appearances with 38 in three years with the club. In 2007 she featured 11 times, netting two goals. In 2006 she made 13 appearances, and 14 in 2005, tallying one goal and one assist. Prior to joining the Silverbacks Minnax played for the WUSL Atlanta Beat in the 2003 season and 2004 festivals. Minnax played collegiate soccer at the University of Tennessee from 1998 to 2002, winning the SEC Championship her senior year.

Schneider returns for her third year with the Silverbacks. In 2007 she featured in six games, tallying one goal, joining to the Silverbacks midseason after playing for the Swedish professional side FFC Brauweiler. In 2006 Schneider appeared in all 14 games for the Silverbacks recording two goals and two assists. In 2005 she appeared 12 times, adding one goal and one assist. Schneider was a four-year starter at Wake Forest from 2002 to 2005, earning NCAA All-Region honors in 2005.

Buff tallied once for the Silverbacks in 14 appearances for the Silverbacks in 2007. She is tied with Steinman for second in career appearances with 33 in her three years with the club. In 2006 she netted one goal in 12 appearances, and featured 14 times for the Silverbacks her rookie year after captaining her Vanderbilt University (2003-2006) her senior year.

The Silverbacks will continue to build the roster up until preseason begins on April 15. The annual player combine is being held March 28 and 29. Per NCAA regulations, a separate combine will be held for underclassmen on or after May 1. Details for the second combine have not been finalized.

The Silverbacks Women kick off the 2008 season against the Hampton Roads Piranhas May 10 at Silverbacks Park.

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