Women's Soccer Hosts No. 15 Rollins in Season OpenerSeptember 6, 2013
ANDERSON, S.C. – Kicking off the season at home for the first time since the 2010 season, the Anderson University women’s soccer team welcomes nationally ranked Rollins to Trojan Stadium on Saturday for a 3 p.m. kickoff.
After closing the preseason last Tuesday, the Trojans open the regular season with high expectations. Head Coach Samar Azem will carry a significant amount of newcomers, but also returns a pair of Preseason All-SAC first-team honorees in seniors Krystal Goss and Kaitlyn Neipp. Goss and Neipp, along with fellow senior Olivia Scalzitti, shined throughout the preseason and bring experience to a youthful roster.
With Goss being the target of a lot of opposing backlines, Azem is excited for freshmen Emily Perez and Alaina Gay to take some of the pressure off of the Newry, S.C. native. Extending to the midfield, Division I transfer Emily Cowan will pair up with Scalzitti to control the middle. Fellow Division I transfer Faith Johannes looks to lead a youthful backline in front of Neipp, the all-conference goalkeeper.
The Trojans are seeking their third season-opening win in the last four season, as their season opening winning streak was snapped last season at the Columbus State Collegiate Invitational against nationally ranked Tampa, 3-1. This is the second straight season AU opens with a nationally ranked team from the state of Florida.
With the Sunshine State Conference Preseason Poll being released in August, Rollins (1-0) is expected to pick up where it left off in 2012, winning last season’s SSC regular season championship. The Tars were projected second in the league, a single point behind last season’s conference tournament champion, Tampa. Nationally, Rollins is slotted No. 15 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), seven spots behind conference-favorite Tampa.
The Tars welcome back nine starters and 14 letter winners to the 2013 roster, highlighted by SSC Offensive Player of the Year and All-American redshirt junior Brenna McKee. McKee started all 19 matches last season and scored 11 goals to go along with five assists. The Austin, Texas native shines in the late minutes, scoring a conference-leading five game-winning goals in 2012.
Head Coach Alicia Schuck returns for her third season at the helm of the Tars, boasting an impressive 26-8-4 career record. Schuck led the team to the south region semifinal in 2012 where Rollins was eliminated by conference rival Tampa, 1-0.
Saturday marks the first meeting between Anderson and Rollins, as AU got its first look at the 2013 Tars when they opened at USC Aiken. Rollins came away with a 4-1 win over the Pacers, as McKee shined with two goals.