Unity and Depth Will Lead Crusaders In 2013
Tigerville, SC – With a rejuvenated spirit and another year of experience, the North Greenville University women’s soccer team is set to begin the 2013 regular season.
Despite the struggles of last season, head coach Rachel Baer brought in 12 new faces to create the largest roster in women’s soccer history at North Greenville. The added depth coupled with experience of returning nine starters to the lineup has the Crusaders poised for a breakout season.
“Our biggest strength will be numbers,” said Baer. “Being able to have that kind of depth off the bench will greatly help us compete as we go deep into the season. We have also kept many of our core returning players who understand what I want from them and will be able to help lead the younger/new girls with their knowledge and experience competing in our conference.”
Junior Taylor Kelley returns to the team after starting nine of 14 games a year ago, logging 1,058:49 minutes on the field and recording 73 saves. Kelley allowed 1.87 goals per game while recording a .768 save percentage.
Baer brought in two new faces to compete for playing time in goal as junior Katie Tate, a transfer from College of Charleston, and freshman Michelle Huddleston create a deep goaltending unit for the Crusaders.
Tate has recorded 84 total saves in 30 career games, posting an outstanding .93 goal against average with 10 shutouts. Huddleston led her team to two State Championship appearances in Georgia as a sophomore and senior in high school.
On defense, the Crusaders must account for the departure of four-year starter Abby Brack, who completed her eligibility on the field.
The team will rely heavily on juniors Erin McLure and Brooke Domingo, both having started since their freshman season in Tigerville. Also bringing experience to the defense will be senior Ali Forthaus and junior Ansley Dobbs who split time between the defense and midfield last season.
Freshmen Karis Hoover, Sara Forrester and Ashley Fletcher will also be counted on to provide the defensive unit with skill and depth.
On the offensive side of things the Crusaders must replace two of their top three goal scorers from a season ago. Leah Ward (four goals) and Jade Sale (two goals and three assists) have graduated, leaving holes in the middle of the field and at the forward position.
Sophomore Caroline Baker is the team’s top returning goal scorer after netting three scores last season. Juniors Franki Jumper and Hope Martin also return after starting a combined 23 games in 2012. Senior midfielder Marguerite Motsinger also returns to provide leadership in the middle of the field, while sophomore Kathryn Allen is back after starting eight games in her first year on campus.
Also leading the midfield will be transfer Cara Woolford who has seen action in 41 career games with 4 goals and 1 assist, while redshirt-freshman Lindsay Tuten will finally see the field after sitting out a season and will be counted on to lead the team from the forward position. Freshman forward Courtney Etheridge and freshman midfielder Devin Worth will also provide the team with added offensive power.
“We have a strong schedule of teams we will face this fall, and it is important that we are fit and know how to work together,” said Baer of her expectations for the upcoming season. “Unity is key and hard work will get us unified. We also have the added motivation that we did not have the best record in Conference last year, so the girls are determined to prove that we are the best team this year.”