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2018 Women's Soccer Season Preview

Photo by Lianne Yun '18
Photo by Lianne Yun '18

SEASON OUTLOOK

Despite a challenging season last year, the Wesleyan University women's soccer team is as determined as ever to make it into postseason play this fall. During the 2017 campaign, six of eight NESCAC losses were decided by one goal, and three in overtime, which shows how close this team is to being one of the top squads in the conference this year.

The Cardinals open the season with a home game against Western Connecticut State on Wednesday, September 5th at 5:00 p.m. After that, the team will hit the road for three-straight contests—including the NESCAC opener against Tufts (Sept. 12)—before returning home on September 15th.

Wesleyan will be guided by head coach Eva Meredith who is now in her 15th season at the helm of the program and is the winningest coach in program history with 68 victories. Meredith is thrilled to welcome back associate head coach AJ Stueck as well as assistant coaches' Brynn Hansson, Bill Dudzik and Jeremy Wilson.

MEET THE TEAM

  • The Cardinals only graduated one senior this past year and are excited to welcome 10 newcomers for the 2018 campaign.
  • Senior standout Lauren Goetzman posted four goals and one assist last year en route to a Second Team All-NESCAC selection. She is one of the most determined players on the squad, and did not let an injury keep her from the field last season. This melds well with Coach Meredith's desire to continue, "building a culture of grit and resilience."
  • Liz Young '19 and Emily Ribatt '21 are expected to continue their major offensive contributions this year in which they ranked first and second in points last season, respectively. Young had a team-high five goals during the 2017 campaign, while first-year standout Ribatt found nylon three times and assisted on four goals.
  • Kinsey Yost is another senior leader looking to build off an impressive junior season in which she was named a Second Team All-NESCAC honoree. She was the anchor of a defensive unit that allowed just 15 goals all season and posted six shutouts.
  • Junior goalie Zoe Cassels-Brown will be back in net for the Cardinals. Cassels-Brown was a force during her sophomore season, finishing the year with a .833 save percentage and 0.59 goals-against average.
  • First-year players to watch include Melissa Wilhelm and Sarah Hammond. Wilhelm is a strong offensive player, while Hammond is a goalie with excellent footwork and distribution skills.

COACHES' THOUGHTS

"With a large and talented senior class ready to re-write their soccer history, the season outlook is bright. As the saying goes, 'If you want different results you have to try different approaches.' I believe we are ready to give more and push each other harder to reach the next level. We've been knocking on the door to something great and with the addition of 10 first-years, the depth might be the final piece to the puzzle. If we can stay healthy and injury-free, we can be a team that will surprise."