IUWS Opens 2014 Preseason Practice
August 8, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
IU SOCCER RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana Women's Soccer enters the 2014 season under the guidance of second year head coach Amy Berbary, looking to carry over the momentum from a highly successful 2013 campaign. After advancing to the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years last season, the Hoosiers will look to mix a strong core of returning players with a number of newcomers that are looking to make an impact from the start.
While the records set last year for wins (15), goals scored (43), assists (46) and shutouts (9) all point towards a new era for IU Women's Soccer, there will be some new faces in the starting lineup this season after the graduation of five starters off last year's team.
"We lost quite a few talented players from last year's team, and will have a lot of new faces on the field this year," Indiana head coach Amy Berbarysaid as the Hoosiers opened preseason training. "We return an experienced group of players who were part of the culture change here at Indiana that contributed to last year's success and are committed to do their part to keep that going for the program. It will be exciting for us to blend the entire group together as we work towards our goals this season."
Lisa Nouanesengsy graduated as one of the top goal scorers in program history while Rebecca Candler finished her career with 20 assists, the second-most in program history. Lara Ross played 80 career games as a defender in front of goalkeeper Shannon Flower before both graduated following the 2013 season, providing an opportunity for new players to step in and solidify the defensive end of the field.
Although the Hoosiers lose the experience and skill of Flower in goal, there is a seasoned group of returning defenders - Tori Keller, Marissa Borschke, Rebecca Dreher- that played a key role in those shutouts and the defensive success as a whole. They will be looked upon to guide the new faces in the backfield and continue to build off the strong foundation that was laid in 2013.
On the attacking end, senior Abby Smith and junior Kayleigh Steigerwalt are the top returning goal scorers, both having scored five goals last year. But Steigerwalt suffered a season-ending injury in the spring and will miss the 2014 season, opening the door for any number of skilled midfielders and forwards to seize the opportunity. Jordan Woolums and Veronica Ellisboth tallied three goals last year and will be looked upon to add stability through the midfield and on the attack.
In goal, redshirt junior Sarah Stoneis the only goalkeeper returning with game experience, having played over 600 minutes during the 2012 season and earning Big Ten Player of the Week on two occasions.
With a total of 10 new faces on the roster, coupled with so many returning players looking to continue their development on the pitch, there is certain to be fierce competition across the field during the preseason leading up to the season opener on Aug. 22 at Armstrong Stadium against Indiana State, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. Prior to that, on Aug. 16, the Hoosiers will host Louisville at 6 p.m. for an exhibition match. Admission to all home IU women's soccer games is free for fans of all ages.