Women's Soccer Begins Preparations For 2014 Campaign
DES MOINES, Iowa - With less than two weeks until the start of the 2014 women's soccer campaign, Drake, under the direction of seventh-year head coach Lindsey Horner is rounding out its first week of official preparations for the new season.
The Bulldogs enter the 2014 campaign eying a bounce-back campaign after posting a 3-12-5 mark last season, including a 1-4-1 ledger in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Drake, who returns 13 letterwinners from a year ago, including players who scored 10 of the team's 17 goals, will look to capitalize on its opportunities this season as the Bulldogs were involved in 15 contests decided by a goal or less in 2013.
A 25-member Drake roster is finalized by a high-profile group of 10 newcomers that are set to garner their first action on the pitch this fall.
Included among the returnees are Drake's six starters from the close of the 2013 campaign, led by the Bulldogs' second-leading point producers last season in sophomore Rebecca Rodgers (Peotone, Ill./Peotone) and senior Ashlie Stokes (Sioux City, Iowa/Sioux City North), who registered five and four goals, respectively.
Complimenting that duo are sophomore Kayla Armstrong (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier), junior Kylie DeHaven (Olathe, Kan./Olathe East), junior Rhian Pritchard (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley North) and senior Tori Flynn (O’Fallon, Mo./St. Joseph Academy).
Drake also will welcome the return of fifth-year senior Generve Charles (Wausau, Wis./Wausau East), who missed the entire 2013 campaign due to injury.
Rodgers collected second-team All-MVC recognition a season ago, while she and fellow sophomore Sarah Grace Nicholson (Overland Park, Kan./Olathe East) were tabbed to the All-Freshman team.
Heralded for her academic success by the MVC was junior Emma Winstead (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West), who was tabbed as a first-team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete selection.
Drake is also expecting strong contributions from the remaining core of its returnees in senior Spencer Vasey (Johnston, Iowa/Johnston), who missed the 2013 campaign due to injury, along with juniors Mariah Boncek (Fishers, Ind./Fishers), Alex Freeman (Duluth, Minn./Duluth East), Alex Hanna (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) and sophomores Kylynn Moyer (Omaha, Neb./Millard North), Sarah Grace Nicholson (Overland Park, Kan./Olathe East) and Tricia White (Overland Park, Kan./Notre Dame de Sion).
The new campaign will commence for the Bulldogs with a pair of preseason matches starting with a 6:00 p.m. contest at Milwaukee on Tuesday (Aug. 12).
Drake will attempt to shatter its program-record attendance mark when it battles Grand View on Saturday (Aug. 16) at the Cownie Soccer Complex in a 7:00 p.m. tilt.
The Bulldogs open their 2014 campaign traveling to Portland, Ore., to square off against Boise State on Aug. 22 at 5:00 p.m. CT.