Looking to bounce back after a tough luck 2017, the Golden Eagles will soar into Nampa, Idaho looking to get the new season off to a good start.
The season is here for the University of Minnesota Crookston women’s soccer team, it’s all systems go on 2018. Looking to bounce back after a tough luck 2017, the Golden Eagles will soar into Nampa, Idaho looking to get the new season off to a good start. The Golden Eagles start the season this Thursday at 1:30 P.M. with a match against Adams State University. That match will be the first of three for Head Coach Joe Alieniello’s squad in the Pacific Northwest. Minnesota Crookston will also see California State University, Monterey Bay on Saturday at 11:00 A.M., and Northwest Nazarene University, on Monday at 1:00 P.M.
The teams will be fairly new to Minnesota Crookston, so let’s dive into each three of the Golden Eagles’ opponents in Nampa, Idaho.
University of Minnesota Crookston (0-14-3)
Seventh year Head Coach Joe Alieniello will see a lot of new faces for the Golden Eagles who will look to be competitive in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. UMC, however will have some veteran players who will look to lead the young Minnesota Crookston squad. Jessica Withrow, a sophomore midfielder from Gardnerville, Nev., is back after leading UMC with four points and two goals. Also returning are Jessica Scott, and Vanessa Shelton. Scott, a senior from Post Falls, Idaho will look to give the Golden Eagles a scoring threat after scoring two points last season. Shelton, a sophomore from Tacoma, Wash., had three shots on goals last season. In net last season it was Olivia Puttin, the junior from Rogers, Minn. Puttin was the main goalkeeper for UMC last season and stopped 118 shots and had two shutouts.
Adams State University (3-8-4 in 2017)
The Grizzlies come off a season that resulted in more draws, than victories. For Adams State, there is a new head coach at the helm. Janine Hurst takes over for the Grizzlies program, looking to turn it around. Taking over her alma mater, Hurst might be the right person for the job. Hurst was an assistant for the past five years at ASU. The Grizzlies, are picked to finish 13th in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Kendall Weld is a key returner for Adams State. She led the team in shots, goals, and assists, as well as tied for the team lead in games played with 14. There could be a different look in net for Adams State. Teagan Moore had a solid senior year last season where she was the main fixture in net for the Grizzlies. It might be a learning curve for Adams State goalkeepers.
California State University, Monterey Bay (5-9-4)
The Otters come into 2018 looking to rebound after finishing four games under .500 last season. It will be a lot of newcomers on the west coast for the Otters who will welcome in thirteen freshman. The returning scorers for the Otters is sophomore Allexxis Hand, and senior Norma Verduzco who each had two points last season. In net, however, it will be all about continuity for Otters head coach Laura VanWart. The Otters return veteran goalkeepers Victoria Whyte, and Alyssa Noh. Noh, who took a bulk of the starts last season had a goals against average of .092 in 14 starts. Whyte started three games last season while having a goals against average of 1.56.
Northwest Nazarene University (11-7 in 2017)
The Nighthawks of Northern Nazarene are coming off a solid campaign a year ago, where they finished third in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. This season, Northwest Nazarene is picked to finish fifth.The Nighthawks return a total of five starters from last year’s squad, including four of whom were named to the All-GNAC Second team. Two of those returners include Madi Taylor and Rikki Young, who might make one of the most dangerous duos the Golden Eagles will play this season. Taylor and Young combined for 13 goals on 72 shots. They also combined to have 32 points last season as well. Senior goalkeeper Chloe Sholtz will figure to play a big role for the Nighthawks this season. Sholtz played in three games last season, starting all of those games. Sholtz allowed three goals in those starts, but had a shutout as well.