Fri, Aug. 30, 2013 - [Women's Soccer]
The Loras College women's soccer team went 19-5 a year ago and won their league-best eighth Iowa Conference regular season title to go with their IIAC tournament crown. In 2013, they've got their eyes on what would be an IIAC record fourth straight title, and another deep run in the NCAA tournament.
In 2012, the team took a 12 game winning streak into Pittsburgh in the Sweet 16 before they were knocked out and they also had a five game winning streak in early September. The team conceded just three goals in seven IIAC contests and scored a league best 64 goals over their 24 games.
"As the IIAC favorite and defending champion with a preseason national ranking, we're certainly aware of what it takes to win those titles (regular season and tournament)," head coach Dan Rothert said this week.
"The Sweet 16 is impressive, but a lot of this year's roster got a taste of what a deep run is like and want more. We'll build off the preseason and incorporate our experience with some fresh faces along the way."
Six of the team's top eight goal scorers are back, with Jayne Eslinger and Hillary Wilson's combined 10 goals out of the 64 total now gone. Senior Lynn DeVriese and sophomore Katie Truesdale represented 25 of the team's goals and are back to put pressure on opposing goalkeepers. Defensive mainstays Kinsey Campbell (2012 IIAC MVP) and Sarah Trump (All-IIAC in each of her first three season) are back to keep teams away from the Duhawk goal. Danielle Vujovic, who scored nine goals and added nine assists in her freshman season is also back after an injury kept her out of the entire 2012 campaign.
In goal, junior Hannah Wilson has taken a hold of the starting position to begin the 2013 season. Michelle Vonachen and Mary Kate Halm have both logged minutes over the course of their careers and are options behind her if called upon.
Veterans Campbell, DeVriese, Trump, Madeline Tennant, and Megan Kittleson each take on roles as co-captains this season.
Newcomers Lizzy McWhinney, Madi Avery, and Mary O'Boyle have all shown they can keep up with the college pace this preseason.
A CLOSER LOOK:
2012 Record: 19-5, 7-0 in the IIAC (1st)
2013 IIAC Preseason Coaches' Poll: 1st
Starters Lost: Jayne Eslinger
Key Returners: Kinsey Campbell, Sarah Trump, Lynn DeVriese, Katie Truesdale
Also Keep An Eye On: Claire Murphy, Kristina Everding
Loras is 65-13-6 all-time in the Rock Bowl.
Loras' non-conference schedule includes starting the year with 2012 NCAA opening round opponent St. Scholastica. The Hawk Cup against UW-Whitewater on October 16. The team will also travel to regional power Wheaton (IL), neighbor UW-Platteville, and NCAA tournament regular Calvin (in Milwaukee).
WATCH THEM IN THE ROCK BOWL:
Loras is home a total of six times in 2013 – three in September and three in October – beginning with a Saturday-Sunday combo against Carroll and Aurora. Three days later they host Augustana. IIAC foes Simpson, Luther, and Coe come to the Rock Bowl in October.
Full Schedule HERE.