Fri, Aug. 31, 2012 - [Women's Soccer]
The Loras College women's soccer team went 18-3-1 a year ago and won their league-best seventh Iowa Conference regular season title to go with their IIAC tournament crown. In 2012, they'll be looking to build on their NCAA Division III Championship efforts and win their third straight IIAC title.
In 2011, the team outscored opponents 71-17 and shut out 12 teams in their 18 victories and one draw. Both of those stat lines take serious hits in 2012, with the top five goal scorers from that team and All-Region goalkeeper Katie Chambers moving on after finishing their Duhawk careers in uniform.
"With moving some people around, the development of our returners, and a great group of newcomers I can say that we are as excited as ever to get started," 15th year head coach Dan Rothert said this week.
Of Loras' four All-Region selections in 2011, only defensive anchor Kinsey Campbell returns, where she'll be partnered with two-time All-IIAC pick Sarah Trump.
"We definitely rely on our back line to limit the chances the other team generates, and it is one of our most reliable units for us on paper as we start 2012," Rothert acknowledged.
"That being said, I'm happy with how our first-year players have performed in preseason and I believe we'll be able to pick right back up where we left off. We are young, but talented."
The midfield will be led by Jayne Eslinger – a second team All-IIAC selection a year ago – and Lynn DeVriese will lead to charge to pick up the goal-scoring slack left by last year's senior class. She'll be near Kristina Everding, Hillary Wilson, and Madeline Tennant while the Duhawks also try and fill void left by an injured Danielle Vujovic. The sophomore was second on the team in goals a year ago and tied for the team lead in assists, but is out for the foreseeable future with a knee injury.
In goal, sophomores Hannah Wilson and Michelle Vonachen are joined by freshman Mary Kate Halm. Halm is expected to be the opening night starter for the Duhawks in Rock Island, Illinois after a solid preseason.
A CLOSER LOOK:
2011 Record: 18-3-1, 7-0-1 in the IIAC (1st)
2012 Preseason Coaches' Poll: 1st
Starters Lost: Kate Young (former All-American), Jessica Kern, Ali Schmitt, Katie Chambers, Tonya Lohmeyer
Key Returners: Madeline Tennant, Jayne Eslinger, Lynn DeVriese, Kinsey Campbell, Sarah Trump
Also Keep An Eye On: Claire Murphy, Ailish Rispin, Katie Truesdale
Loras is 53-12-6 all-time in the Rock Bowl.
Loras' non-conference schedule includes the annual contests with Wheaton and Washington University, as well as tough contests against Trinity (Texas – in Chicago, Illinois) and league rival Wartburg Knights.
Loras and UW-Whitewater will once again battle for the Hawk Cup on September 12.
WATCH THEM IN THE ROCK BOWL:
Loras is home a total of six times in the next month, starting September 2 against St. Mary's.
Full Schedule HERE.