Aug. 14, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Wyoming Cowgirl Soccer has been on a uniformed rise in their quest to be a team to be reckoned with for the past four years and 2007 looks to be another chapter in their pursuit of greatness. After coming off of a sound spring in which the Cowgirls scored 27 goals and only surrendered three, Wyoming has high hopes for the fall ahead.
"I feel we have a lot of talent and a lot of different people we can go to and put in different positions," UW head coach Anne Moore said. "I am excited to see how our upperclassmen, that have been such a big part of our program's success, mesh with our young talent that is coming in from all over the world."
Coach Moore will have the opportunity to see her team mesh together and face some tough competition early in the year as they face distinguished foes Denver University and the University of Colorado, both 2006 NCAA Tournament teams. Colorado is the 21st ranked team in the nation in SoccerBuzz Magazine's preseason poll. The Cowgirls will face some resilient teams on the road in James Madison and Hofstra and will also travel to California to face the always talented Long Beach State 49ers and the UC Riverside Highlanders, all NCAA Tournament contenders.
Wyoming will balance their schedule by facing non-conference foes Fresno State, Jacksonville and Akron and Mountain West Conference powerhouses BYU, UNLV and Utah all within the friendly confines of the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex. BYU enters the season as the 23rd ranked team in the nation according to SoccerBuzz Magazine.
"We have a very balanced schedule this year," Moore continued. "It is going to help us out tremendously this year to have some of our toughest opponents come to Laramie."
Other non-conference opponents on the 2007 schedule include Western Carolina, Utah Valley State and Northern Colorado. The MWC Championships will be held November 7-10 in Provo, Utah this season.
"Each year during the preseason, one of the things we focus on is acclimating the freshman as quickly as possible to our system and style of soccer and how we stress to our team to play as a unit," said Moore. "We have some very talented freshmen coming in that can make an impact right away. Our achilles heel last year was how we would play a great game against a strong team, and then come back the next day and lose to a team we shouldn't be losing to. We really need to take one game at a time and make sure we do everything we can to win the game we are playing."
Following is a position by position look at the Cowgirl Line-up:
Junior Amanda Lathrop was pushed up to one of the forward positions this spring where she was very effective possessing the ball and creating opportunities not only for herself but also for the players around her. After missing some games due to an injury last fall, Lathrop looks to continue the success she had as a freshman. Sophomore Kelsey Lindner will also see time at the forward position after scoring two goals last fall. Redshirt freshman Janae Mack will add speed up top for the Cowgirls and freshman Jerrica DiVincenzo will make immediate contributions.Midfielders
Wyoming will return MWC All-Conference sophomore Emily Layton who was the anchor to the Cowgirls center midfield as a true freshman. Layton created a plethora of goals for the Cowgirls last fall and this spring. Junior Comfort Adetoye moved from her forward position last fall to the midfield because of her speed and ability to run the sidelines. Redshirt sophomore Jennifer Bucher did a solid job for the Cowgirls this spring after being redshirted last year due to a foot injury and will be a key part to the midfield. Lindner, who played a key role for the Cowgirls last fall, will see time up top and in the midfield. Lindner is a blue collar type player and can play any position and make things happen. Senior Andrea Soltau and juniors Anna Nagel and Cory Thieman will be strong contributors as well.
Despite losing the best defensive group in school history, the Cowgirls have a strong core of freshman and three upperclassmen to anchor the backline in 2007. "Our freshmen did an excellent job this spring and we look for them to make an immediate impact for us," Moore said.
Junior Laine Hubbard has started 33 consecutive games in the Cowgirls backline and has been a solid defender since her freshman season. Hubbard along with Soltau, and senior Rachel Schetrom will anchor the backline. Sophomores Kerstyn Ethridge and Emma Wilson will contribute to the defense along with a strong incoming class of freshmen defenders that include Bostyn Burger and Tailor Dial.
"We lost a good core of upperclassmen on the defensive end, but the freshman played some quality minutes. Fortunately with the freshman we have coming in, there are some very strong leaders and good players so it will be very exciting to see how they play together in the backfield," said Moore.
The Cowgirls return for the third straight year two very seasoned goaltenders for the 2007 season in senior Ashley Sheppard and junior Jaime Scarcliff. In 2006, they combined for a 1.20 goals against average, the third best in school history. Sheppard played in 13 games allowing 1.07 goals a game while Scarcliff played in seven games allowing 1.44 goals a game. The two combined for five shutouts and only allowed one goal on seven other occasions. Just two seasons ago, the two combined for the best goals against average in school history, allowing only 1.01 a game. Scarcliff had an excellent spring only allowing three goals and gained a lot of experience. Sheppard was injured throughout the entire spring and will get back into the swing of things during the summer and preseason training. "Whoever steps up, works hard and produces for us will have the opportunity this fall," said Moore.