Taylor Women’s Soccer Looks to Experience in 2018

by | Aug 22, 2018 | RRSN News, Soccer Blogs | 0 comments

Trojan Women’s Soccer Looks to Experience in 2018

 

UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor University women’s soccer team opens its 2018 season with a tough test against No. 3 Northwestern Ohio on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 7:00 p.m. The Racers made it to the semifinals last year in the NAIA National Tournament and will be the first ranked opponent to play at Turner Stadium since No. 2 Spring Arbor visited on Oct. 7, 2017.

 

The Trojans lost three players to graduation from a team that went 12-7-1 overall and 4-4-1 in Crossroads League action. TU defeated Indiana Wesleyan in the Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinals, before falling to Marian in the semifinals. The squad finished No. 24 in the NAIA with 10.8 shots on goal per game and No. 29 in shots per game with 19.5.

 

Head Coach Scott Stan is in his 11th year at the helm for TU and brings back 60 percent of the team’s scoring from a year ago and 14 players return who saw action in 10-or-more games, with four starting in all 20 matches.

 

“I really like how we look,” said Coach Stan. “We have nine starters returning and every freshman is going to be able to give us some minutes this year and do really well. I am really happy with what happened in the spring with the girls’ development.”

 

The bulk of the starters for this year’s team will be returners, but coach Stan knows he can play a mix of one to three freshmen and they will fit in well.

 

For TU to make an impact offensively, they will look to senior captain Bailey Zehr to repeat what she did in 2017. The First-Team All-Crossroads League and United Soccer Coaches NAIA All-Midwest Region Second-Team selection scored 12 goals and added four assists. Jourdan Lehman and Emily Calvani both enter the season with three goals scored a year ago and will help aid Zehr in the attack.

 

Junior captain Danielle Toren will start in the midfield for TU after she started all 20 contests a season ago. Toren had 10 shots on goal, while hitting the back of the net twice and added one assist for five points. Hannah Davis adds depth to the forward positions after scoring two goals last year in 11 starts.

 

Senior captain Savannah Porter will be the anchor for Coach Stan’s defense. Porter was tabbed First-Team All-Crossroads League in 2017 and has started all but two matches in 56 appearances during her time in uniform. Reyna Williams will assist Porter near the goal, after starting 20 matches during her freshman campaign. Hannah Waltz is another defender that will protect the net for the Trojans. Waltz has 36 combined starts during her first two seasons.

 

In goal, the Trojans have three goalkeepers who saw action last season, most notably, Lauren Engelkes. In her 17 starts, she had 48 saves, four shutouts, tallied four-or-more saves on six occasions and was second in the Crossroads League and 24th in the NAIA with a 0.77 goals-against average.

 

Coach Stan is unsure of which freshman may make the biggest impact this year for the Purple and Gold as each athlete will bring different skill sets to the table. “It is so hard to say,” Stan said. “If you are just looking for scoring, it would be Erin Teevans and Ali Clodgo, but Kate Kortenhoeven has really impressed us, Laura Kladde is being really effective with her passing and Riley Massey is a lot faster than what we expected.”

 

Taylor faces a tough non-conference slate in 2018, but opens the season with five of its first eight matches in Upland. After the season opener, the Trojans take on RV Olivet Nazarene (Aug. 29), Lourdes (Sept. 8), Purdue Northwest (Sept. 11) and Cornerstone (Sept. 18) at home. On the road, they play at Cincinnati Christian (Aug. 25), IUPUI (Sept. 5), Indiana Tech (Sept. 14) and Campbellsville (Sept. 21).

 

In the Crossroads League opener, Taylor travels to the defending NAIA National Champion and 2018 preseason No. 1 Spring Arbor (Sept. 26). TU will travel to Bethel (Sept. 29), No. 11 Marian (Oct. 10), Saint Francis (Oct. 13) and Mount Vernon Nazarene (Oct. 24). The squad hosts Goshen (Oct. 3), Grace (Oct. 6), RV Indiana Wesleyan (Oct. 17) and Huntington (Oct. 20) to round out the home-regular season schedule.

 

The program is one win away from 200 victories and Coach Stan is 15 away from that same milestone for career victories as a collegiate coach.

 

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