Tigerville, SC – With six starters returning, including key members of the midfield and defense, the North Greenville women’s soccer program brings a wealth of experience back to Tigerville for the 2012 season. A 15-game schedule, featuring 11 matches against Conference Carolinas opponents, has first year head coach Rachel Baer and the Crusaders poised for a successful campaign.
“This year I think we are going to be able to compete with any team in our conference,” said Baer. “We have a strong team coming back this fall with talented newcomers as well. If we can come together and be a unified team, I think we could go far this year.”
In goal, the Crusaders will lean on the consistency of sophomore Taylor Kelley. Kelley played sparingly in 2011, seeing action in just one game and playing 89:57 minutes, while allowing two goals and recording six saves.
Senior Krista Young returns for her final year to provide depth and leadership on and off the field. Young has 424:00 career minutes in goal, allowing North Greenville to have experience coming off of the bench.
The Crusaders will be led once again by senior Abby Brack, who has started every game in her North Greenville career. Brack is a leader on and off the field and will be counted on to provide solid defense along with sophomores Erin McLure and Brooke Domingo, who combined for 27 starts between them last season. The pair also provides some scoring ability from the back line as Domingo recorded two goals and two assists, while McLure recorded one goal and one assist in 2011.
Sophomores Beth Arnold (12 starts) and Laney McGarity (two goals) will also be counted on to provide experience and skill, while sophomores Noelle Gould and Danielle Smith give the defense depth off of the bench. Senior Ali Forthaus returns after an injury-riddled junior season to give the defense athleticism and leadership.
Senior Jade Salle returns to the field after leading the Crusaders with a team-high seven goals in 2011 along with two assists. The team also gets a large boost with the return on all-time leading goal scorer Leah Ward, who will be playing out her final year of eligibility after sitting out the 2011 season. Ward has scored 43 career goals in 51 games, while also recording nine assists.
Sophomores Beth Arnold, Franki Jumper and junior Marguerite Motsinger return to provide experience on the field and give the team a spark of athleticism on the offensive side of the ball. Freshmen Kathryn Allen, Alli Mims and Lindsay Tuten will be counted on to contribute immediately, while Caroline Baker and Kaylin Nicholson will also be looked at to give the team a boost with their tenacity and work ethic.
“Experience and excitement will drive us this year,” said Baer. “We have a lot of talented veterans returning, and everyone is excited the positive changes occurring within our program. If we are a unified team, we will be tough to beat.”
The 2012 Crusaders are hungry for their first trip to the conference tournament after missing out last season. Look for this team to build on its existing talent and experience coupled with the plethora of incoming freshmen to excite the fans and compete at a high level on a regular basis.