2014 record: 7-8-3 (3-2-1 MCC, 4th)
Starters returning/lost: 7/4
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/7
Alyce Correia Jr. Perth, Australia
(First-team all-MCC, 3 goals, 3 assists)
Silvia Munoz Sr. Paramount, Calif.
(Letterwinner, 3 goals, 3 assists)
Camila Parra Jr. Brisbane, Australia
(Honorable-mention all-MCC, 8 goals, 1 assist)
Lauren Abbas Sr. Adel, Iowa
(Letterwinner, 1 assist)
Adriana Borjon Jr. Willits, Calif.
Isabelle Lucking Fr. River Falls, Wis.
Mariah Voight Fr. La Mesa, Calif.
AnnaMarie Urps Fr. Wilton, Calif.
Anyela Jimenez Jr. Lancaster, Calif.
Scoring options abounding, the William Penn women’s soccer team looks to make a strong presence in its new league this fall.
The navy and gold, headed by Willie McGowan, experienced a much-improved campaign in 2014 with a 7-8-3 record (3-2-1 MCC). The Statesmen have a plethora of their scorers back on the pitch and a cast of newcomers will help shore up a defense that was decimated by graduation.
Past all-conference performers Alyce Correia (Jr., Perth, Australia, Elementary Education), Silvia Munoz (Sr., Paramount, Calif., Elementary Education), and Camila Parra (Jr., Brisbane, Australia, Biology) are back to guide the program as it ventures into the Heart of America Athletic Conference–a league many consider as one of the best in the NAIA.
As aforementioned, WPU has experience on the scoring end and at the top of the lineup will be returners Lauren Abbas (Sr., Adel, Iowa, Communications) and Francis Lee (So., Fort Dodge, Iowa, Undecided). Lee posted three goals and two assists last season, while Abbas, who played more in a defensive position, tallied one helper.
Hannah Baker (Fr., Adelaide, Australia, Biology) and Daniela Ambrosio (Jr., Grinnell, Iowa, Business Management) will also spend time going forward up the pitch.
Life is good in the midfield as all three of William Penn’s returning all-conference performers play in the center of the field.
Correia and Munoz each managed three goals and three assists in 2014, but may get more opportunities at the goal this season. Parra is the team’s top returner in goals with eight.
Mary Richards (Sr., Winterset, Iowa, Psychology/Sociology) moves up from the defense into the midfield, while AnnaMarie Urps (Fr., Wilton, Calif., Physical Education) will finally see the grass after redshirting in 2014.
Graciela Belmontes (Jr., Salinas, Calif., Biology) joins the navy and gold this year and looks to be an impactful player after two years at a junior college.
The defense is where things get a bit hairy as the Statesmen will have a completely different crew on the back line. Returner Nicole Walsh (So., Melbourne, Australia, Exercise Science) and 2014 redshirt Mariah Voight (Fr., La Mesa, Calif., Sociology/Psychology) learned the system last year and their experience should be invaluable.
However, it may come down to the impact of the new quartet of Isabelle Lucking (Fr., River Falls, Wis., Elementary Education), Laura Cartwright (Fr., Brisbane, Australia, Business Management), Katie Salinas (Jr., Fort Dodge, Iowa, Exercise Science), and Anyela Jimenez (Jr., Lancaster, Calif., Sociology) on how successful opposing offenses are. It is a heavy load for the newcomers, but McGowan believes they are ready.
2015 first-team all-MCC pick Kelly Button has graduated, but newcomer Adriana Borjon (Jr., Willits, Calif., Exercise Science) will look to fill those shoes after a successful JUCO career out west.
The season begins on August 29-30 at the Calumet-St. Joseph Crimson Wave Invitational with Mount Mercy serving as WPU’s season-opening foe. In addition to the William Penn Classic with matches against Morningside and Clarke, the Statesmen will prepare for a stiff conference slate with other non-league games versus St. Mary (Neb.), Ashford, and Simpson.
Rival Grand View joins WPU in the 11-team Heart, but the establishment will be expected at the top this autumn with Benedictine (Kan.) seeking to defend its league crown.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage