Coming off a solid 5-5-4 ledger and a first-ever winning record in the NESCAC standings (3-2-4) after winning overall marks in 2009 (8-6-1) and 2008 (7-6-1), Wesleyan women's soccer has plenty of reason to expect the success to continue in 2011. Back are eight starters, complemented by six other returning letterwinners including both goalies who started more than one game a year ago.
Tops among the returnees is two-time NESCAC honoree, and a team quad-captain in 2011, Laura Kurash '13 (#8, photo lower right by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography. com), who gained first-team all-NESCAC recognition last year after pacing the Cardinals with nine goals and three assists from her forward spot. The NESCAC Rookie of the Year in 2009 after collecting eight goals and three assists despite missing half the season due to injury, Kurash has amassed 40 career points in just two campaigns. Joining Kurash as potent scorers are Kerry Doyle '14, who ranked second on the squad with six goals and an assist in her inaugural campaign, and Barrie Lindsay '12, an eight-point getter (two goals, four assists) in her first year at Wesleyan after transferring from Wheaton.
Quad-Captains Hannah Stuckey '12 (#1, photo lower left) and Emma Nitzberg '12 (#10, photo upper right) return as seasoned starters on defense and in the midfield, respectively. Other returning field starters include Kaylin Berger '13, Hannah Knudsen '14 and Amy Toig '14.
Back after seeing action in all of last year's games off the bench is quad-captain Mikaela Curtin '13 (#21, photo upper left). Jen Brewer '13 played all but one game in 2010 with one starting assignment after starting all 15 games in 2009 as a seasoned veteran. Also back from the 2010 squad are Michele Drossner '14 and Emily Mullaney '14.
In goal, Grace Bomann '14 secured the starting spot the latter half of the season while posting a fine 0.80 goal-against average and an .846 save percentage with a 3-2-1 record. Clare Colton '12 started seven contests in 2010 with a 1.66 goals-against average and .766 save percentage with a 1-3-3 mark.
The Cardinals welcome 11 newcomers to the preseason, many of whom should factor into the team's fortunes from the get-go as eight returnees saw considerable action as frosh a year ago, three as consistent starters.
Wesleyan inaugurates the 2011 campaign, the first which includes Hamilton as a NESCAC playing member in women's soccer for a 10-game conference slate, against Bowdoin at home Sat., Sept. 10. The game will be webcast and can be viewed by clicking < here >. Last year, Wesleyan forged an exciting 3-2 win at Bowdoin with Kurash scoring the winner off a pass by Doyle early in the second half. Kurash finished the game with two goals and an assist as Wesleyan recovered from a 2-0 deficit.