2010 women's soccer season preview: New coach, upperclassmen ready to lead Muskies
Athletics - posted on 8/25/2010
The Lakeland College women's soccer team enters the 2010 season eager to take the pitch under the new direction of first-year head coach Tony Pierce.
"I'm excited for the season to start," Pierce said. "The girls have been working and battling hard in practice. They have been pushing each other and know what they have to do to accomplish their goals this season."
Pierce inherits a team that finished 12th in the Northern Athletics Conference, ending the 2009 season with a 4-15 overall record, 2-10 in NAC play. The team struggled with low numbers and ill-timed injuries.
"This year, staying healthy is a key component," Pierce said. "To compete with the best teams we need to be 100 percent."
The Muskies return an experienced group of upperclassmen and a good mix of freshmen.
The offensive attack will be led by senior forward Jaime Wichman (Franklin, Wis.) and junior forward Lindsay Rogers (Sheboygan, Wis.) Rogers enters 2010 as the Muskies' biggest offensive threat, after scoring two goals last season and a team-high 17 her freshmen year. Wichman also scored a pair of goals last season.
"Jaime and Lindsay both have great attacking abilities and are hungry to score," Pierce said. "We will look for Lindsay up top to get us the goals we need."
The Muskies' midfield is anchored by junior Kristina Borts (Milwaukee, Wis.), who earned honorable mention All-NAC in 2009 and led the Muskies with five goals and two assists.
"Kristina is one of our strongest players, and her role in the midfield is an integral part of our offense and defense," Pierce said.
Joining Borts is center midfielder Ashley Meyer (Hinckley, Ill.) a transfer from Waubonsee Community College in Aurora, Ill. Meyer is a strong center mid and brings two years of college experience. The team is also looking for contributions from junior Dana Schmidt (Menasha, Wis.) and freshman Liz Pritzl (Cedar Grove, Wis.).
"Dana sets the bar for the team," Pierce said. "She is a physical player and works hard the entire game. Liz is a versatile player and will play left mid for us this year. She has a good left foot, and we expect a lot of shots on goal from her."
The defense is solid, backed by senior leader Maria Santelli (Pleasant Prairie, Wis.), junior Abby Weber (Howards Grove, Wis.), sophomore Cheyenne Mohr (Kaukauna, Wis.) and freshman Monica Santelli (Pleasant Prairie, Wis.), Maria's younger sister.
"Maria is a good defender and is a threat coming out of the back," Pierce said. "She can start the offense out of the back and has the ability to counter attack well. We will depend on Maria to organize our defense.
"Monica is a scrappy defensive player, and we expect her to shut down our opponent's offensive threats. Cheyenne and Abby are both experienced defenders and we're counting on their leadership."
Senior Whitney England and freshman Ashley Sarbacker (Middleton, Wis.) are the team's goalies. "I am impressed with Whitney's improvement in camp so far," Pierce said. She and Ashley have been competing hard."
The Muskies open their 2010 non-conference schedule Sept. 1 at North Central in Naperville, Ill. The home opener is Sept. 9 against Mount Mary. NAC play starts Sept. 11 against Benedictine.
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