Wyoming soccer will kick-off its 2016 campaign with its first and only exhibition contest of the year when the Cowgirls take the field against the South Dakota Coyotes on Friday, Aug. 12, at 5 p.m. MT in Hastings, Neb.
Wyoming enters the 2016 season with high expectations after a fourth-place conference finish a season ago, as well as a fourth-place ranking in the Mountain West Preseason Coaches’ Poll on Wednesday. The Cowgirls return all 11 starters from last year, including leading scorer, junior forward Shaina Ashouri. Notching nine goals and seven assists on the season, Ashouri garnered First Team All-Mountain West and Third Team All-Pacific Region honors. The 2014 MW Freshman of the Year as well as Offensive Player of the Year, junior forward Kaitlyn Lomsnes, also looks to make an impact on the offensive end. The Cowgirls are 3-0 in exhibition matches over the last three seasons, winning by a combined score of 11-3.
“I thought the Brown and Gold scrimmage went really well, “said head coach Pete Cuadrado. “The next step for us is to see if we can do it against someone else and look as good as we did in the scrimmage. It’s a good challenge for this team. South Dakota will be a formidable opponent and I think they’ll be ready to play.”
Friday’s matchup is also the only exhibition game of the season for South Dakota. The Coyotes finished the 2015 season with an 8-12-0 record and a 5-3-0 mark in the Summit League, good for a fourth-place finish. South Dakota lost five starters, but return senior forward Corey Strang. Strang led the team with 11 goals and five assists, earning her All-Summit League, as well as Summit League All-Tournament Team, accolades. Midfielder Sammie Villwock returns for her sophomore season, after tallying four goals and three assists in 2015, both second-best marks on the team.
The Cowgirls are 3-1 all-time against South Dakota, and most recently earned a 2-1 win over the Coyotes in Vermillion, S.D. on Sep. 12, 2014. The two teams have never faced each other at a neutral site.