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Crusader Women Set to Kick Off 2009 Soccer Season
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
As the 2009 women’s soccer season is set to kickoff, the Valparaiso University Crusaders continue to look for the success on the field that has been building for the past five seasons. With five straight 10-win seasons following last year’s 10-6-3 campaign, the Brown and Gold looks to climb into the top half of the Horizon League standings this season. Head coach John Marovich begins his second season at the helm of the Crusaders, and returns 12 letterwinners, including eight starters, from last year’s squad. With the addition of eight newcomers, the Crusaders will be a blend of youth and experience heading into the 2009 season.
Offensively, Sarah Jewell enters her final campaign with the Crusaders ranked sixth all-time at Valpo with 13 goals while her 31 career points are eighth on the all-time charts. She will be called upon to lead the front line as Valpo looks for production from the upperclassmen to score goals.
A pair of senior midfielders also return for their final season with the Brown and Gold. Jackie Kondratko was tied for the team lead with three goals in 2008, including a pair of match-winning tallies. She started 16 matches one year ago and was honored for her work both in the classroom and on the field, being named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V First Team. Jessie White begins her final year as a consistent presence in the Valpo lineup. Having started 52 of 57 matches during her career, she not only is a scoring threat with seven career goals, but distributes the ball out of the midfield, turning defense into offense with her six career assists.
In the midfield, a pair of sophomores garnered a great deal of action during their freshman seasons. Brooke Henderson started 15 contests and played in all 19 as a rookie, helping the Crusaders transition from defense to offense. She, combined with Laura Romberg, helped stabilize the midfield. Romberg added a goal and an assist as a freshman, with her tally being a match-winner in the closing minutes against South Dakota. The midfield duo will look to once again provide stability for the Brown and Gold.
Up top, Mikki Nuccio and Becky Clever both return for their second season with the Brown and Gold. Nuccio scored a pair of goals, including a match-winner, as a freshman, while adding an assist. Coming off of the bench for most of the season, she and Clever provided energy on offense when they entered the match. Clever saw action in 10 matches as a freshman, and will look for even more time on the field this year.
Seven freshmen will also be looking to make their mark with the Crusaders beginning this year. Goalkeeper Rachel DeFrank will back up Cabral to start the season after a stellar high school career which saw her post 26 career shutouts for Mason High School in Ohio. Marie Argo will look to contribute on the backline as well as in the midfield after leading her club team to the state semifinals in Ohio twice during her career. Rachel Hoaglin, a midfielder, was a two-time All-State selection in Minnesota and a finalist for Miss Soccer.
Luisa Desario, Janine Lytle, and Trisha Wladecki all can play in the midfield as well as up top for the Crusaders. Desario set her school’s single season record with 31 goals while dishing out 19 assists as a senior. Lytle was a three-time First Team All-Ohio Cardinal Conference selection at Wooster High School. Wladecki was also a three-time All-Conference selection and she racked up 31 assists and 93 total points during her prep career at Avon Lake High School in Ohio, ranking in the top-five all-time in both categories. Forward Catherine Terrell rounds out this year’s incoming class. Terrell was an Honorable Mention All-State selection in Michigan as a senior.