Women's Soccer to Open Year at Boilermaker Challenge Cup
August 22, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
INDIANAPOLIS – The start of the 2014 women's soccer season is here as the Butler Bulldogs travel to West Lafayette to compete in the 14th annual Boilermaker Challenge Cup. This two-match challenge cup format will feature Butler playing a pair of Mid-American Conference opponents in Ohio and Miami (OH).
The season opener will be played at the Boilermaker Soccer Complex vs. Ohio on Friday, August 22nd with action slated to begin at 4 p.m. After facing the Bobcats for the first time in program history, Butler will take an off day and finish the challenge cup with an 11 a.m. match vs. Miami (OH) on Sunday, Aug. 24.
Scouting the Bobcats
Aaron Rodgers, now in his second season as head coach, and the Bobcats hosted an exhibition contest against UNC Greensboro last Thursday evening which ended in a 2-2 tie. Alexis Milesky and Mollie Whitacre each scored a goal for the Bobcats with Milesky striking early in the seventh minute and Whitacre finding the back of the net in the 84th minute to tie the game at 2-2.
Nicole Amari got the start at goalie for the Bobcats. She made three saves, despite allowing two goals. Amari will be a prime candidate to start in goal on Friday after serving as the back-up goalkeeper during the 2013 season. In her junior campaign, Amari saw action in three games, making two starts. She made eight saves and allowed two goals.
While the goalkeeper may be limited with in game experience, the Bobcat offensive unit will be at full speed with six high impact players returning to the field. Holly Harris, Milesky, Carly Manso, Liz Finley, Allison Cislo and Tonya Frasik were all near the team lead in points last season. Harris, Milesky and Manso all tied for the team points lead with 11. Finley joined Harris and Milesky as top goal scorers on the team with four each. Setting up the action will be senior midfielder Frasik who recorded a team-high six assists a year ago.
Scouting the Redhawks
The Redhawks continued to get better throughout the 2013 season as they shook off five-straight losses in September to go on a lengthy winning streak to finish off the regular season. After taking a tough 2-1 loss at Akron in the MAC opener, Miami (OH) won seven of their last 10 games with the other three results ending in ties. They were able to defeat Northern Illinois in the opening round of the MAC Tournament, but were sent home after the shootout loss vs. Ball State on Nov. 8.
Head Coach Bobby Kramig will return to the sideline for his 18th season at the helm of the women's soccer program. He will return eight starters from last year's team including two Second Team All-MAC selections in Kelsey Dinges and Courtney Zanotti. Dinges led the team with 20 points last year on seven goals and six assists. She took 62 shots including 25 on goal and was on the field for over 1,582 minutes despite only starting in 15 of 21 games. Zanotti was a defensive specialist that never left the field as she led the Redhawks in playing time with 1,928 minutes of action in 21 starts.
Goalkeeper minutes could be up for grabs this year with the loss of Allison Norenberg to graduation. Vic Maniaci made one start last year during her freshman campaign, but she will have to beat out senior Danielle Wiseman and freshman Alexis Carpenter for playing time. In her lone start of the year, Maniaci was able to earn the win without making a save. The Redhawks earned the shutout victory at IPFW.
Wiseman and Carpenter split time in goal for Miami (OH) in the team's first exhibition contest against Radford. The Redhawks won the match by the final score of 1-0 after a late goal from Rachel Marble. Wiseman started at goalkeeper for the second-straight match against Northern Kentucky in the second exhibition of the early season, but Carpenter once again entered the game for the second half which ended in a 1-1 tie. This time around it was a quick goal by Dinges that put the Redhawks on the scoreboard just 12 minutes into the contest.
Regular Season Openers
BIG EAST Women's Soccer Preseason Poll
Preseason All-Conference Team
She Shoots, She Scores
Kaylor from the Corner
Up Next at Goalkeeper
A Look Ahead