June 17, 1999
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The 1999 UW women's soccer season marks the fifth year of existence for the program and will be a year of transition and change for the Cowgirls. Wyoming will have a new head coach who is implementing a different style of play, new assistant coaches, a new conference and almost half of the team will be composed of freshman and transfer players.
Anne Moore, who for the past two seasons has been the head womens soccer coach at East Tennessee State University, was hired on January 14, 1999, to take over the reigns of the Cowgirl soccer program. Prior to taking the head coaching position at East Tennessee State, Moore was an assistant coach at Virginia Tech for four seasons, from 1993-97. She was a graduate assistant for two seasons before serving as Virginia Techs first full-time assistant coach.
Moore also has extensive experience as a collegiate soccer player, as she was a four-year letterwinner at North Carolina State from 1989-93. While playing at N.C. State, Moores teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament every season, won an ACC Championship and twice advanced to the Final Four.
Moore will be joined on the bench this fall by Kim Murphy, who was named the UW assistant coach on March 19 of this year. Prior to coming to Wyoming, Murphy served as Moore's assistant at ETSU for two seasons. Moore will also add another assistant coach to her staff sometime later this summer.
The Cowgirls practiced several times a week as a team this spring in preparation for their fall season. Moore has 14 players returning from last year's team and she took those returning players to play in several regional tournaments this spring.
With the spring season Moore established several things to serve as the basis for her program. "We did a lot of fitness this spring," says Moore. "We're trying to get them to work better as a team and to make quicker decisions. We want them to play as a unit and we're trying to establish a style of play. We want more of an attacking mentality from the players. Individually they've picked up some technical skills and there has been improvement. They've been working extremely hard."
Moore hopes to carry that progress her team made during the spring on into the fall and improve on the team's 1998 finish. How the Cowgirls fare in the newly formed Mountain West Conference and how they perform on the road will have a lot to do with their success Wyomings Fall 1999 schedule includes matches against the six other MWC schools with women's soccer, as well as 12 non-conference opponents, including the likes of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Kansas. Of the 18 total games, only six will be home matches for the Cowgirls.
"We have a really competitive schedule this fall, as far as the team's we'll be playing against. All our opponents have had success in the past. Unfortunately this year we only have two home conference games and four away games in the first year of the Mountain West Conference. Next year we'll have four at home and two on the road."
Despite all the road games and all the changes for the UW team, there really is a lot for Moore and her coaching staff to build on from last year's Cowgirl team. Wyoming finished 1998 with a 5-12 record, but those five wins by the Cowgirls is an all-time high for Wyoming, as prior to the 1998 season UW had won only three times in three years. The 1998 season also produced several other firsts as UW won it's first ever conference game, over TCU, and had it's best offensive game ever, scoring four goals versus TCU. Wyoming also ended the 1998 season with a winning home record, 5-4, by far the best in their short history.
The 1998 UW team also placed two members of it's squad on the WAC All-Mountain Division Second Team. Sophomore midfielder Katrina Morton and senior forward Erica Campbell both were named to the team for the first time in their careers.
Morton, of Spokane, Washington, who returns as junior this fall, will be looked to for leadership this season. She was the Cowgirl's scoring leader during the 1998 season with 12 points. She scored five goals, added two assists and of her five goals, three were game winners. She was also named the WAC Mountain Division Player of the Week following the Cowgirl's final game of the season, a 1-0 overtime victory over Kansas in which Morton scored the only goal.
Besides Morton, the Cowgirls also return four other starters and 11 total letterwinners from last year. To complete the team Moore has done a very good job with recruiting in the short period of time since she was hired. This fall 12 new scholarship players will join the program. The incoming group includes three college transfer players and nine high school signees.
"We focused on a combination of maturity, speed and size with this group," said first-year UW head coach Anne Moore. "The transfers have all played at a high level and have experience, while with the high school players, some have the speed we are looking for and the others have the size we desired. Each player was chosen for their specific attributes. We didn't want to have all the same type of player. We wanted a mix that will come together and make the team stronger overall.
"I think that this group of players will give us more options this fall. Since each player has their own strength, and with the core of players we have returning, there will be good competition for those starting 11 jobs. The program has not had large numbers of players in the past, so hopefully now the competition within the team will help bring everyone to the next level.
"I'm very excited about my first season here at Wyoming and looking forward to the challenge."