Women's Soccer Set to Open 2014 SeasonSeptember 3, 2014
ANDERSON, S.C. – After a couple of weeks in preparation, Anderson University women’s soccer opens up its 2014 campaign with a pair of nonconference showdowns against in-state rivals, beginning with the home opener against Southern Wesleyan on Thursday and a road contest with North Greenville on Saturday.
First-year head coach Ciaran Traquair sends out a youthful squad to begin the 2014 season, as the Trojans carry five freshmen and nine sophomores on a roster of just 20 players. Despite beginning the year without a senior, experience is not lacking as AU returns Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference Second Team honoree Faith Johannes and Emily Cowan, who both transferred to Anderson from Division I programs before last season.
The Trojans look to finish off matches this season, as AU set a SAC record for the most ties in conference matches with five last year. Overall, Anderson capped off the 2013 season with a 5-7-5 record and missed the conference tournament for the second time since the Trojans joined the SAC before the 2010 season.
Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Sadie Lancaster looks to continue the success left by Kaitlyn Neipp, who shined throughout her collegiate career, finishing tied for seventh for career shutouts in SAC history. Lancaster, who filled in for Neipp in two contests a season ago, made 13 saves and posted a clean sheet against Tusculum in early October.
In its final season in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Southern Wesleyan finished 3-13-1 overall with a 1-10 mark in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). This year, SWU will compete at the NCAA Division II level and as a member of Conference Carolinas, as the Warriors join Emmanuel as new members of the conference and the Southeast Region.
The Warriors bring back three seniors and five juniors to their 2014 roster, highlighted by junior forward Ruva Chimedza who tied for third on the team in goals with two. Also returning to the starting lineup is goalkeeper Krista Anonie, who made 123 saves in 2013, which would have ranked second in the South Atlantic Conference.
North Greenville enters the 2014 season after coming off a 7-10 overall record a season ago. To go along with that mark, the Crusaders finished 4-5 within Conference Carolinas and dropped its opening round match to Barton in the conference tournament. For the 2013 season, NGU dropped eight one-goal matches, including five by a 1-0 score.
NGU returns its leading scorer from 2013, as then-freshman Lindsay Tuten scored eight goals and handed out one assists, accumulating 44 percent of the team’s goals. The Crusaders also return last year’s goalkeeper as Kathryn Tate started 13 matches in 2013, making 94 saves and posting three shutouts.
Saturday will mark the first time Anderson and North Greenville have linked up since both teams were members of Conference Carolinas during the 2009 season. That year, AU claimed a 2-1 victory en route to a 12-9 overall record.