Aug. 7, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Leadership and Motivation. These are the two very reasons why the 2003 Wyoming Cowgirl soccer team will make long strides from a year ago. The leadership will come from 15 returning letterwinners and the motivation will come from last seasons disappointing 4-13-2 finish. With the addition of one of the best recruiting class in program history and some hard work during the spring, the Cowgirl soccer program is stronger than it has ever been.
"We are very excited about this season," commented head coach Anne Moore. "The spring was beneficial for us, and the girls really stepped it up to another level. We added more lifting and increased the intensity of our individual workouts. All the kids responded and it has poured over into game situations."
Coach Moore and her staff are expecting great leadership from the upperclassmen and a lot of growing up by young players in order to make the 2003 campaign a success.
"One key we need to do is acclimate the newcomers, because they are going to play some key roles this season," added Moore. "They all come from great programs and have expectations to win. That type of attitude is also going to be expected from the upperclassmen as well because they have put so much effort into preparing for this season."
The Cowgirls will face a very tough schedule in 2003 as they play three great programs from the SEC early in the year; Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama. They will, however, be fortunate enough to play nine games in Laramie, including four consecutive to start the season.
Wyoming is also hungry to knock off conference foes who managed to edge out the Cowgirls last season. The hard work ethic of the coaching staff and players has them prepared to face any challenges they may encounter. With a dedication to success, the 2003 Cowgirls are ready for action.
Goalkeeping duties will be handled this season by senior Lori Scheider, who was named Second Team All-MWC a year ago. Scheider led the conference in saves (129) and saves per game average (.801) in 2002 and moved into third on the Cowgirl all-time saves list.
Challenging Scheider will be All-State goalkeeper Lauren Hawthorne from Mesa, Ariz. Hawthorne, a freshman, comes from one of the top club teams in the nation.
Coach Moore on the Goalkeepers:
"Lori is definitely going to be pushed this season by Laruen. Whick will make for a competitive training enviornment. Lauren has great talent and will gain a lot of knowledge from Lori because of her experience."
The Cowgirls have a lot of experience returning in the backfield in 2003. Senior Jennifer Barksdale has started for Wyoming since she was a freshman and senior Jennifer Kinner has have provided Wyoming with solid play for the last two seasons. Both will be the anchors of the defense this year. Sophomore Kara Walters stepped up last fall as a leader in the backfield and will be relied on this season. Another Cowgirl who impressed the coaches during the spring was redshirt freshman Kristen Stangel, who will add great composure and hard-nosed play to the backfield. Newcomers Doreen Thompson, Carolyn Clarke and Kristin Gurrola should all see significant time in the back as well.
Coach Moore on the defense:
"We lost four defenders due to graduation, but I think we are going to be fine. Our upperclassmen are motivated and much improved from a year ago. We also have some excellent players coming in that will help us out. Altogether, our backfield will be solid."
The midfield will be led by senior captain Angela O'Dell, who has been a great player and leader for UW the last three seasons. She is a solid player that leaves it all out on the field and leads by example. Along with O'Dell, the Cowgirls will look to junior Sarah Skinner to direct midfield traffic. A starter the last two seasons, she will provide Wyoming with smart play in the middle. Megan Racette's improvement during the spring will help out Wyoming in the middle along with newcomer Katie Humberson. On the outside, junior Lindsey Vossbrink will be a great impact player as she moves to the midfield after starting at forward last year. Seniors Renee Minero and Brenna Meadows will see action at the outside as well as up top. Redshirt freshman Natasha Swan and freshman Rachel Schetrom are also expected to help out in the midfield.
Coach Moore on the midfield:
"Our midfield will have a combination of speed and strength. Several of these girls can play many positions which be a big asset. Just like the backfield, the middle will have some great talent and a mix of upperclassmen and younger players."
Sophomore Merci Adetoye will finally get to contribute 100% after being plagued with injuries last season. Her speed and agility makes a big offensive threat for the Cowgirls. Senior Tuva Gulbrandsen had a great spring season and is hungry for a chance to score some goals. Colorado high school stand-out Christine Nagel will step in and play a huge role in the Wyoming offense with her ability to pass and score from all angles on the field. Junior Mari Gomes has the talent to score many goals for UW, but she has been hit with many injuries during her career. If Gomes and Adetoye can stay healthy the Cowgirl offense will have plenty of weapons to use in finding the back of the net.
Coach Moore on the offense:
"We have some great threats up front. Each of the girls has the ability to create opprotunities and score at will. They are all great team players and will provide us with the offense we need to win games."