Aug. 13, 2002
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Coming off the 2001 campaign with a 4-11-3 overall record and a 1-3-2 mark in the Mountain West Conference, the Wyoming Cowgirl soccer team is looking to improve during the upcoming season. Falling short in six games by a single goal and tying three games is more than enough incentive for the team to work hard for the fall. The team only lost four seniors from a year ago, therefore many of the younger players have
"In the past it has always been a struggle to get home games and we were on the road quite a bit, but this year it's worked out in our favor."
Head Coach Anne Moore
The Cowgirls will have ten home games during the upcoming season, including non-conference competition against Sacramento State, Mississippi, Northern Iowa, Weber State, Utah State, North Texas, and Northwestern, in addition to three Mountain West Conference schools, including BYU, Utah, and New Mexico.
"In the past it has always been a struggle to get home games and we were on the road quite a bit, but this year it's worked out in our favor," said head coach Anne Moore. "All of the teams we have coming in are extremely competitive, and it's always better to be on our own field. Hopefully, we can take advantage of that and beat some good teams."
The Cowgirls will be taking on some top schools on the road throughout the season, as well. They will be participating in a tournament in Hawaii to kick off the season, where they will face Alabama-Birmingham and Hawaii. Other road competition includes non-conference match-ups against Colorado, Portland State, Denver and Colorado College, as well as MWC schools, San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico and Air Force.
Perhaps the area that needed the most improvement from the 2001 season was on the offensive side of the ball With the addition of Tuva Gulbrandsen, a forward from Norway, and Mercy Adetoye, from Englewood, Colo., the Cowgirls hope to ignite their offense and turn close games into wins.
Gulbrandsen, an incoming junior, and Adetoye, an incoming freshman, are fast, aggressive and strong players who like to go to the goal. Their strong technical ability and aggressive style of play should help the Cowgirl offense produce goals this fall.
Incoming freshman Kristen Stangl, who will redshirt this season, will add strength, size and athleticism to the backfield in the future for the Cowgirl program. Stangl has played at a high level through both her club team, which is ranked nationally, and high school team. She is also a solid and intelligent defender. Another player added to the mix is midfielder Kathryn Mak. A freshman from Portland, Oregon, she is a quick and aggressive player. She should see some early playing time and adds depth to the midfield position.
"Kristen will solidify the defense and bring a lot of maturity," said Moore. "She brings a lot of experience from playing throughout the nation and will play like an upperclassman."
"Kathryn is going to bring quickness and athleticism to the Cowgirl squad. She should see playing time in the midfield position this fall."
The Cowgirls have been working hard throughout the off-season in order to become more competitive, especially in the Mountain West Conference. The addition of new players and the strong efforts of the returning players is sure to make the season very competitive.
With both goalkeepers returning from last season, the Cowgirls should be strong defensively. Both Sarah Kuyper (senior) and Lori Scheider (junior) saw significant playing time in 2001. Scheider started off strong early in the fall, but was sidelined with an injury giving Kuyper the opportunity to step in and lead the team in goal. Both players provide a strong presence in goal and will be competing against each other to see who will get the starting role for the upcoming year.
The Cowgirls lost Second Team All-Conference defender Jessica Piccone from the backfield, but have everyone else returning. Therefore the back four will all have a lot of experience and the majority of the senior class will be playing this position, including starter Kelly McKay, Katie Groke, Lauren O'Hara, and Danielle Travieso. Juniors Jennifer Barksdale and Kelly Anderson have been starters since their freshmen year and with the addition of newcomer Kristen Stangl, the Cowgirl squad should be difficult to beat. Other Cowgirls who will see playing time in this position are Rachael Brink, who brings great size, and Jennifer Kinner, who is fast, aggressive and hard working.
"Our defense should be a strength because of the experience from the players returning" said Moore. "I also expect to see Kathryn Mak make a contribution."
The midfielders will be made up of sophomores and juniors for the 2002 season, with the only loss during the off-season being Abby Mouch to graduation. Sophomore Melissa Bowman is an extremely technical player and a good distributor of the ball. The Cowgirls will also be returning the quick and aggressive Sarah Skinner, in addition to Angela O'Dell and Renee' Minero, who are both starters over the past two seasons. Senior Meredith Russo is also an experienced player, who has been part of the midfield for the past three years.
Some of the other players including Meghan Racette, Celia White and Kara Walters should also see playing time both in the middle and up top this season. Both White and Walters will be redshirt freshmen, while Racette saw playing time at both positions last season.
"The returning players at this position will bring experience and skill to this year's team," Moore said. "Having a couple of years under their belt, they are more aware of the level of competition they will have to play against and the speed they will need in order to be successful."
The forward line will have a lot of new faces in 2002. The only returning Cowgirl who saw significant playing time at the position last season is sophomore Mari Gomes. She is a quick and strong player, who has the agility to turn and put the ball in the back of the net. Lindsey Vossbrink started in the midfield last year, but will be moving up top for the new season. She is a fast, aggressive and versatile player, which will allow her adjust well to the new position. Brenna Meadows and Marci Crank have also been moved to the forward position due to their speed and athleticism.
Sophomore Darci Ferrell saw some playing time last season as a freshman and will bring her quickness and breakaway speed to the position. Newcomers Tuva Gulbrandsen and Mercy Adetoye will also be key players for Wyoming in the fall. With their finishing ability, we will look to get her the ball as much as possible.