August 20, 2013

Blugold Women's Soccer Picked to Finish Second in WIAC Preseason Poll

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MADISON, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the three-time defending conference champion, has been selected to secure the 2013 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) women's soccer title, according to the league's head coaches and sports information directors.

The Warhawks, who accumulated 17 first-place votes in the conference poll, welcome back 24 letterwinners and eight starters from last season's squad that established a program record with 16 victories and reached the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship. UW-Whitewater's 30 wins the last two seasons is the best two-year stretch in program archives.

Sophomore Jenna Woodson was second on the team with 10 goals and six assists in 2012, while junior Sarah Sedlar added 18 points and senior Kelsey Finn 10 points. Junior Jordan Myers was 26th in the NCAA Division III with 1,878 minutes played and led the WIAC with a .833 save percentage. Gone from last year's squad is Christina Tooren - the 2012 WIAC Player of the Year. The 2013 schedule will feature 10 home matches for the first time since 2006, and four of the final five matches will be played at Fiskum Field.

UW-Stevens Point secured the remaining first-place nod and is slotted for fourth in the nine-team league race. The Pointers own a league-high 14 first-place trophies, but must replace their top-four leading scorers from a season ago - a group that accounted for 75 of the team's 116 points. UW-Stevens Point posted seven shutouts in 2012 and welcomes back its entire defensive backfield. Megan Schmidt officially takes the reigns of the program after spending the 2012 campaign as the interim head coach.

UW-Eau Claire has eight starters returning, including four of its top-six point scorers from a season ago. Senior Paige LeGate contributed a team-leading five assists and was second on the squad with 13 points in 2012. Also back is senior Nina Behrenbrinker, who started all 39 matches in goal the last two seasons. The Blugolds have amassed at least 10 victories in 18 of the last 21 years, and will play the 500th match in school history when they host UW-River Falls on Oct. 26.

UW-Oshkosh welcomes back 16 letterwinners from a season ago and its top returning scorer is junior Amanda Baalke, who posted two goals and four assists. In 2012, the Titans led the WIAC in goals against average at 0.91 with senior Katie Berkopec ranking second in the league with five shutouts. UW-Oshkosh has had just one losing season since 2000. Head Coach Erin Coppernoll needs three victories to reach 100 in her career and become the sixth coach in league history to achieve the mark.

UW-La Crosse returns four of its top-six scorers from the 2012 campaign, including senior Jamie Ochsenwald, junior Kirsten Anderson and junior Kelly Denk. Senior Megan Blazer has started 50 career matches. The Eagles open the 2013 season with three straight home matches before playing seven of their next nine on the road. Head Coach Sara Burton begins her 20th season at the helm of the Eagles and is the longest tenured women's soccer coach in the conference.

UW-River Falls' 2013 roster includes three seniors, three juniors and five sophomores. The Falcons return senior Alyssa Manor, who was second on the team with six goals and 18 points a season ago, and ranks seventh on the school's all-time assist list and 14th on the career points chart. Also back are senior Becca Kramer and junior Emily Hancock who helped the team register six shutouts - the second most in a single season in school history.

UW-Stout welcomes back five of its top-seven scorers, both goalkeepers and 16 letterwinners from the 2012 squad. The Blue Devils will have a roster that includes six seniors - the most returning seniors since 2008. Last year's unit never allowed more than three goals in a match and went 4-4 in one goal matches, with a pair of tied contests. Head Coach Ryan Raufus reached the 15-win mark faster than any women's soccer coach in school archives.

UW-Platteville returns 19 letterwinners and 74 percent of its scoring from 2012, including senior Sarah Eck, who was second on the team with seven goals and 17 points. The Pioneers won four of their final six matches in 2012. The 2013 campaign will feature 11 home matches - the most since 2005.

UW-Superior returns its top-three scorers from a year ago in junior Chelsea Cossin, junior Katelyn Adams and sophomore Shelby Coombs. Cossin has led the team in scoring the past two years, accumulating 21 goals and eight assists in 39 matches. The 15 victories posted by the Yellowjackets the past two seasons is the best two-year stretch for the program since 17 wins in 2006-07.

2013 Preseason Predictions--Voted on by WIAC Head Coaches and Sports Information Directors

2012 Record
1. UW-Whitewater (17) 16-5-1 overall, 8-0 WIAC
2. UW-Eau Claire 9-8-2, 6-2
3. UW-Oshkosh 11-5-3, 4-2-2
4. UW-Stevens Point (1) 13-6-1, 5-3
5. UW-La Crosse 5-8-5, 2-3-3
6. UW-River Falls 9-8-3, 3-3-2
7. UW-Stout 6-10-2, 2-5-1
8. UW-Platteville 6-11, 2-6
9. UW-Superior 7-13, 0-8
( )--First-place votes



Team Snippets

UW-Eau Claire
Head Coach: Sean Yengo; 17th season at UWEC; 212-94-30
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 17/9
Starters Returning/Lost: 8/3
Returning All-WIAC: Paige LeGate, Sr., F (2011-First, 2012-First); Ashley O'Connell, So., D (2012-First); Kara Ryan, Sr., D (2012-First); Allie Stone, Sr., M (2010-First, 2012-First)

UW-La Crosse
Head Coach: Sara Burton; 20th season at UWL; 167-138-30
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 13/4
Starters Returning/Lost: 7/4
Returning All-WIAC: Megan Blazer, Sr., D (2012-First)

UW-Oshkosh
Head Coach: Erin Coppernoll; 14th season (10th at UWO); 121-109-22 (overall) / 97-64-19 (at UWO)
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 16/11
Starters Returning/Lost: 6/5
Returning All-WIAC: Chelsea Kierszh, Sr., M (2011-First, 2012-First); Nicole Palmquist, Jr., D (2012-First)

UW-Platteville
Head Coach: Allison Sanyi-Stringer; 3rd season at UWP; 14-21-1
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 19/4
Starters Returning/Lost: 10/11
Returning All-WIAC: Sarah Eck, Sr., F (2010-First)

UW-River Falls
Head Coach: Sean McKuras; 12th season at UWRF; 105-91-18
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 11/10
Starters Returning/Lost: 6/5
Returning All-WIAC: Alyssa Manor, Sr., F (2010-First, 2012-First)

UW-Stevens Point
Head Coach: Megan Schmidt; 2nd season at UWSP; 13-6-1
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 13/8
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/6
Returning All-WIAC: None

UW-Stout
Head Coach: Ryan Raufus; 3rd season at UWST; 17-15-3
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 16/11
Starters Returning/Lost: 8/3
Returning All-WIAC: None

UW-Superior
Head Coach: Melissa Hanson; 6th season at UWS; 24-71-1
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 11/7
Starters Returning/Lost: 7/4
Returning All-WIAC: None

UW-Whitewater
Head Coach: Ryan Quamme; 2nd season at UWW; 16-5-1
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 24/4
Starters Returning/Lost: 8/3
Returning All-WIAC: Kelsey Finn, Sr., D (2011-First, 2012-First); Jordan Myers, Jr., GK (2012-First); Laren Nashleanas, Sr., D (2012-First); Sarah Sedlar, Jr., M (2012-First); Jenna Woodson, So., M (2012-First)