June 12, 2001
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming head soccer coach Anne Moore is optimistic about theupcoming season after a promising spring and the addition of several strongrecruits. Coach Moore kicks off her third season at the helm on aconsistent pace of improvement. Last season's 7-11-1 finish was theprogram's best season in it's short six year history. Along withassistant coaches Ian Hayley and Misty Long, Moore is anxious to start theseason. The Cowgirls return 16 letterwinners and lost only six.
"We lost some valuable strength in our seniors last year," said Moore."During the spring we saw the girls really step up into that leadershiprole. The key for us this fall will be for our upperclassman to set thetone early and get the freshmen acclimated as soon as possible. Many of ournewcomers are going to play a big role for us, and they will have to come inright away and make an impact. It's important that they step up to thislevel of play immediately."
The Cowgirls have a strong core of players with one and two years ofexperience under their belts, but the team will be a young one. They are,however, talented and quick and the incoming freshmen class looks to meshwell with the team. "Our outlook is bright," continued Moore. "We have alot of speed and offensive-minded players on the team. Our defense has beenpretty solid, and adding this new talent should give us more opportunitiesto put the ball in the back of the net."
The spring season was very positive for the Cowgirls with many of theyounger players gaining valuable playing time and experience along withlearning how to deal with pressure situations. The team worked onindividual play, placement on the field and game situations. The spring wasalso useful in experimenting with players at different positions andlearning other areas of the field.
Several players returning will strengthen the positions, with new facesadding depth. At Goalkeeper, junior Sarah Kuyper will likely get the nodafter two years of backup at the position. "Sarah did an excellent job forus during the spring," said Moore. "She really stepped up and made some keysaves for us. Her confidence is up and she looks to be a really strongleader for us in the back." Incoming transfer Lori Scheider is equallystrong and should see some valuable playing time as well. "Lori has somegreat size and is very fast. She and Sarah will provide some interestingcompetition for each other and only make each other better."
Defenders in the back include senior Jessica Piccone. "She's one of ourbest defenders," said Moore. "All three years that she's been here she'sdone a great job. She should bring a lot of leadership to the team."Sophomore Jennifer Barksdale is another solid, consistent player who looksto see considerable playing time this season. "Jenny did a great job lastseason defending and bringing the ball out of the back." Sophomore KellyAnderson and juniors Rachael Brink and Katie Groke will provide depth andsize in the back and will compete for starting positions in the fall."Lauren O'Hara also stepped up in the spring at the outside position," saidMoore. "She won a lot of balls and brought them forward for us. She shouldsee some game time for us."
Midfielders will be strong with players in leadership roles like seniorAbby Mouch, a fast, aggressive and feisty player in the outside midfield."She worked extremely hard in the spring and has matured a lot in the pasttwo years," said Moore. Also in the midfield, returning starter AngelaO'Dell has been a very solid defensive player for the Cowgirls. O'Dellcould be pushed into a more offensive position with transfer Kelly McKaytaking up more of a defensive role. Kelly Anderson could also see moreplaying time, as she is a very strong defender. In the outside midfield,Jennifer Barnes, a walk-on player last fall, made huge strides in the springand should see considerable time at the position along with incomingfreshman Lindsey Vossbrink. Sarah Skinner, another freshman, should seequite a bit of playing time up top with her offensive orientation. "Sarah'svery quick and technical," said Moore. "Hopefully she'll be a big playmakerfor us in the fall."
At Forward, returning starter Sara Stephens will be the go-to person forthe Cowgirls. Sancy Florquist will also be moved to this position as shemade several goals last season. "Both Sara and Sancy are extremely fast,"said Moore. "They can get ahead of a defender and not get caught again.They should both be very good at the position." Another player moved up topwill be Renee' Minero. "She's a very technical player and should create alot of opportunities for Sara and Sancy to score." Incoming freshmen MariGomes and Melissa Bowman should also make noticeable contributions to theteam immediately. "Mari is fast enough to blow right by people. She hasgood vision and can pull other players in. Melissa is more of a strongforward who can turn the ball for us. She's very strong physically, willbattle for the ball and set up our goals." Another player who could fill inat the position would be Sarah Skinner along with senior Laura Miceli, whohas been hampered by injuries during her career.
The Cowgirls have nine home matches this season, including three MountainWest Conference games against San Diego State, UNLV and Air Force at the UWSoccer Stadium. The Cowgirls will play the other three conferenceopponents, New Mexico, Utah and BYU on road trips. Wyoming looks to againbreak the record for most wins in a season, and improve upon last season'sseventh place conference finish.