Balanced Team Fuels Excitement For Wyoming Soccer
Aug. 19, 2005
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Over the past two seasons, the Wyoming soccer team has done nothing short of turning in the best two seasons in UW history. This season, the 2005 edition of the Wyoming Cowgirls look to continue that trend, while striving toward a team goal of becoming the first Wyoming soccer team to reach the NCAA Tournament.
"I think that we have arrived as a school that has to be reckoned with year in and year out," said UW head coach Anne Moore. "Our job now is to continue working hard and improving each year so that we can keep this program at the level where it needs to be.
"This season, we have a lot of talent and leadership in our upper classmen and a ton of talent in our newcomers. I am really excited about what this year has to hold."
In 2005, the Cowgirl non-conference schedule features two tournaments, one of which they will host. The second annual UniWyo Cowgirl Shootout will be played Sept. 30- Oct. 2 and will feature Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota State and Wyoming. The Cowgirls will also compete in the Denver Classic hosted by the University of Denver which features Colorado, Denver and Northeastern and will be played from Sept. 2- 4.
The Cowgirls will play four of their seven Mountain West Conference matches at the UW Soccer Stadium this season. They will open MWC play with their sights set on avenging a pair of losses from last year when they host San Diego State and UNLV. They will then take to the road for games with Utah and BYU before returning home for a weekend set with New Mexico and TCU. The Cowgirls will close out the MWC schedule with a road game at Air Force.
The Cowgirl offense will be led by the first two time First Team All-MWC performer in UW history in senior Mercy Adetoye. She will look to improve on an amazing junior year in which she led the MWC in shots (73), shots per game (3.65), points per game (1.05) and tied for the lead in points (21). She scored seven goals and dished out seven assists in 2004. Junior Christine Nagel, who scored two goals and dished out four assists last season will also play a vital role in the offense at both the forward and midfield positions. Freshman Comfort Adetoye who graduated high school a semester early and gained experience by competing in spring ball with the Cowgirls will play a huge role in the Wyoming attack. Freshman Tamika Wilson is a very talented player who will also see a lot of playing time up top but will also contribute from the midfield.
Coach Moore on the offense:
"We have two very talented veterans in Mercy and Christine and we look for both of them to have another strong year up top for us," said Moore. "With the addition of Comfort and Tamika, we will be very athletic and quick on offense. I think these forwards will really cause our opponents to pay special attention to them and that should open other things up for us."
The Cowgirl midfield took a big hit to graduation, losing four solid players in Lindsey Vossbrink, Melissa Bowman, Sarah Skinner and Meghan Racette. However, sophomores Jessica Brown and Andrea Soltau combined with senior Celia White and junior Kristin Gurrola are ready to step up and contribute to the midfield. Brown and Soltau saw action in a combined 37 games as true freshmen and will look to step into starting roles in 2005 to fill the empty spots left by the graduating class. Brown played in all 20 games, starting six, while Soltau played in 17 games and scored one goal and added two assists.
Freshmen Jennifer Bucher, Amanda Lathrop, and Corey Thieman are very talented freshmen who will be called upon to make a big impact in the midfield this season. Halee Davis, Anna Nagel, Tanya Halliday and Katie Groy will add depth to the midfield. Forwards Comfort Adetoye, Christine Nagel and Tamika Wilson all have the ability to come back and play midfield as well.
Coach Moore on the midfield:
"With the graduation of so many key midfielders, there is no doubt we will be young," said Moore. "However, what we lack in experience we more than make up for in talent. We will call on many younger players to take on the responsibility of building our attack this season."
Senior Kara Walters, a 2004 Second Team All-MWC selection, will anchor the defense this season. Junior Kristen Stangl, who was a 2003 First Team All-MWC selection and a Soccer Buzz Central Region All-Freshman, will look to recover from a season ending knee injury in 2004 and return to the field. Junior's Christina Best and Carolyn Clarke and sophomore Rachel Schetrom will all play vital roles in the defense as they have all gained a lot of experience through the past two seasons as well as through last spring.
Coach Moore on the defense:
"The strength of our defense will come from a veteran group of returnees," said Moore. "We have a lot of experience in Kara, Kristen, Carolyn, Christina and Rachel and I will look for them to lead this team. The freshman class will add to the defense with their speed and athleticism, thus giving us a very strong back line."
Sophomore Ashley Sheppard has a full year of experience under her belt as the Cowgirl goalkeeper and looks to continue to improve in her sophomore season. As a true freshman, Sheppard recorded a goals against average of 1.26, the best single season in UW history. She made 102 saves and recorded four shutouts while playing in 18 games.
A Colorado high school All-State and All-Conference performer will join the Cowgirls this fall in freshman Jamie Scarcliff. She compiled an overall record of 61-6-4 over her four years as the starting goalkeeper at Ralston Valley High School and helped guide her club team to five state championships.
Coach Moore on the goalkeepers:
"Ashley had a great freshman season and will return with a year of experience and confidence in leading the team from the back," said Moore. "By adding a high caliber player like Jamie to the goalkeeper position, we make ourselves even tougher in the net."
The Cowgirls had a very strong recruiting class and didn't have to go very far to get it. A class that was recognized by Soccer Buzz Magazine, features five girls that played for the same club team and won five Colorado state championships for the Colorado Rush. Four other newcomers also hail from Colorado and from quality high school and club teams. The Cowgirls also added three Wyoming natives, a Utah standout and a player from Massachusetts and Michigan who have a great deal of experience and talent. All in all, the Cowgirls will welcome 15 freshmen in 2005.
Coach Moore on the 2005 Freshmen:
"This is one of the strongest classes we have ever had," said Moore. "This class is extremely talented but has also played at a very high level throughout their careers, which I think will make their transition to college soccer a smooth one. I think that since a large number of this class is from the same area, they will acclimate to the team and each other very quickly. Most of these girls know each other from either playing on the same teams or against one another. Altogether, this is by far the most technically sound class we've had."