Qualifying for the NESCAC tournament each of the last four years, Wesleyan advanced to the NESCAC semifinals both in 2011 and 2012. The 2012 team accomplished the nearly unheard of upset in the first round, traveling to top-seeded and 11th ranked nationally Middlebury, which had yielded just four goals in 14 games, and knocked off the Panthers, 2-0. A confident Wesleyan team took on Williams in the semifinal and played an excellent game. For much of the game, it looked like it could be a fairy tail ending to the season by making it to the Championship game. However, Williams had other ideas and came away with a 2-1 win in the end.
The 2013 team is returning 18 players; three seniors, eight juniors and seven sophomores. They welcome six freshman and two transfers. It is an exciting mix of new and old with many talented players.
The opening game is at Bowdoin and it is always a tough game against a team that made it to the NCAA tournament last year. The Polar Bears are eager to repeat and Wesleyan is eager to show that it can do better in its first game than it did a year ago. The team will look for guidance and leadership from three seniors; Hannah Knudsen (#16, photo lower right), a tri- captain who is returning from an ACL injury that kept her out all of 2012; three-year starter and tri-captain Kerry Doyle (#7, left side photo) who will play a big role both on defense and as an alternate forward; and Michelle Drossner, who will continue to challenge for more playing time at the forward position.
Returning among the junior class is two-year starter at center back Brynn Hansson (#3, photo upper right) also voted a team captain. Another returner on defense is Katy Hardt, last years most improved player who started at the end of the season at left back. Hannah Stone is appreciated as one of the team’s most versatile players and has started a majority of games either on defense or midfield. Clare Ashforth will return to midfield and provide leadership to a young Wesleyan midfield. Maddy Chabot, Hannah Jellinek and Katie O’Brien will return and add depth to the midfield and continue to work hard to potentially break the starting line-up. Goalkeeper Jessica Tollman returns after two years of stellar performance in goal looking to improve even further.
In the sophomore class, rookie of the year Madeline Keane will return as a starting midfielder. Isabel Clements has shown to be a threat on attack with a strong finish to 2012 and will be looked upon to produce some goals and assists. Forward Beth Alexion and goalkeeper Rachel Hobert saw significant time on the field in 2012 and will return eager to make even more of an impact. Kaylie Williams and Marissa Yang are also expecting to come back better and stronger, eager to earn more playing time.
The newcomers will be looked upon to add depth to the experienced squad with several likely to contribute signinficant minutes from the get-go.
To read the latest (Sept., 2013) women's soccer alumnae newsletter, please click < here >.