2015 record: 5-12 (2-8 Heart, 10th)
Starters returning/lost: 7/4
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/5
Alyce Correia Sr. Perth, Australia
(Second-team all-Heart, 3 goals, 2 assists)
Camila Parra Sr. Brisbane, Australia
(Letterwinner, 1 goal, 2 assists)
Graciela Belmontes Sr. Salinas, Calif.
(Letterwinner, 1 assist)
Francis Lee Jr. Fort Dodge, Iowa
(Letterwinner, 3 goals, 2 assists)
Andreya Ventura Jr. Granada Hills, Calif.
Bre Johnson Jr. Arvada, Colo.
Ashley Broeker So. Ankeny, Iowa
A more experienced Statesmen women’s soccer squad will venture onto the field this year as William Penn looks to become a player in the 2016 league race.
Head Coach Willie McGowan guided WPU to a 5-12 mark (2-8 Heart) last year and seniors Alyce Correia (Perth, Australia, Elementary Education) and Camila Parra(Brisbane, Australia, Biology) return to pace their squad in another year in the stiff Heart of America Athletic Conference.
Parra was needed in William Penn’s backfield last fall and her scoring totals dropped significantly to just one goal and two assists. Now that she is back in her comfort zone up top, she is expected to have a big senior campaign to pace the forwards.
Francis Lee (Jr., Fort Dodge, Iowa, Exercise Science), with three goals and two assists last year, and Hannah Baker (So., Adelaide, Australia, Biology), with one goal and two assists, are also capable of putting up big numbers in 2016.
Fellow returners Kathy Lopez (Jr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Business Management) and Vanessa Martinez (So., Las Vegas, Nev., Communications) should earn quality minutes as well.
Correia will enjoy one last go on the pitch, returning from a season in which she scored three times and assisted twice. The 2015 second-team all-Heart honoree will be flanked by returners AnnaMarie Urps (So., Wilton, Calif., Physical Education) and Graciela Belmontes (Sr., Salinas, Calif., Biology). Urps led the Statesmen with five assists a year ago (also had two goals), while Belmontes is looking forward to an injury-free year.
Junior college transfer Ashley Broeker (So., Ankeny, Iowa, Exercise Science) has also turned a lot of heads in preseason practices.
With three sophomores headlining the crew, the back line is by far the youngest segment of William Penn’s squad, but the time gained in 2015 should help complete a formidable lineup.
Mariah Voight (So., La Mesa, Calif., Sociology/Psychology) had one assist last year and will be joined by a trio of returners in Isabelle Lucking (So., River Falls, Wis., Elementary Education), Laura Cartwright (So., Brisbane, Australia, Business Management), and Katie Salinas (Sr., Fort Dodge, Iowa, Exercise Science).
Bre Johnson (Jr., Arvada, Colo., Information Technology) performed well at her junior college and is slated to be a defensive standout for the navy and gold.
A stiff head-to-head battle is taking place between the pipes this preseason as returner Adriana Borjon (Sr., Willits, Calif., Exercise Science) is taking on newcomer Andreya Ventura (Jr., Granada Hills, Calif., Psychology). Borjon had a 2.16 Goals Against Average and 110 saves last year; she posted three shutouts.
Following a trio of scrimmages, WPU’s season will finally open in Omaha, Neb. against Saint Mary (Neb.) and Grace (Neb.) on August 26 and 27. Three more matchups, including two at home versus Waldorf and Columbia (Mo.), conclude the non-conference schedule before the navy and gold venture into its demanding 12-game Heart slate.
Benedictine made it to the 2015 NAIA national semifinals and should be the team to beat yet again, while William Penn will be searching to take down a few more teams in one of the nation’s toughest leagues.