Washington University (Mo.) women's soccer preview
The Washington University in St. Louis women’s soccer team
is ranked No. 9 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of
America (NSCAA) and Continental Tire preseason top-25 poll, as
announced by the website.
Fifth-year head coach Jim Conlon returns eight starters and 22 letterwinners from last year’s team, which set a school record with an 18-5 overall mark and advanced to the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals.
Three all-Central Region performers return for the Bears in 2012, including second-team honoree in senior goalkeeper Clara Jaques. Jaques started all 23 games in the net a year ago posting a school-record 18-5 record with a 0.91 goals against average. She enters her senior season ranked first in school history in wins (44), second in saves (255), fifth in goals against average (0.76) and sixth in shutouts (19).
Junior back Kate Doyle and freshman Lillie Toaspern joined Jaques on the all-Central Region second team. Doyle, a second-team all-University Athletic Association (UAA) selection, started 22 games at center back for the Bears. She was third on the team with seven assists, and anchored a Washington U. defense that allowed a conference-low three goals during conference play.
Toaspern, a first-team all-UAA selection and the 2011 UAA Rookie
of the Year, started 20 games in her rookie campaign and led the
conference in goals (12) and points (29). Toaspern had four
game-winning goals as a freshman and had a hat trick in a 5-1 win
over the University of Rochester on Oct. 28.
Also returning for the Bears are senior midfielder Emily Gosché (two assists), junior back Rachel Ing, junior back Jen Reed (three goals, two assists), junior forward Lauren Steimle (11 goals) and sophomore forward Anna Zambricki (10 goals, four assists).
Two-time defending national champion Messiah College enters the season as the No. 1-ranked team in NCAA Division III. The Bears will face four teams ranked in the preseason top-25 poll: Wheaton College (Ill.) (No. 4), Emory University (No. 6), Illinois Wesleyan University (No. 11) and Case Western Reserve University (No. 17).
Washington University opens up the 2012 season at home against Alma College on Friday, Aug. 31, at 5 p.m.