polo portsmouth ri Alma College women s soccer prepares to build upon tradition
That prediction hasn t deterred the Scots though, in fact it s motivated them to continue to build upon a tradition that s just beginning to take shape.
Add in the fact that the Scots lost 10 players from last season s championship squad and that leads head coach Jeff Hosler to believe that the league is starting to take notice of his program.
We ve shown that we can be successful, Hosler said, Kind of our mantra now is to build upon a tradition. We ve had kind of our first taste of success and we know what it takes to achieve that. Now we re looking to cement that type of tradition of where it s an expectation and a standard that the program sets. I don t have any reason to believe that this year should be any different because of how talented the players we have in the locker room.
Despite a loss of 10 players, nine of whom saw significant playing time, the Scots have reloaded with 16 freshmen to create a 32 player roster between both the varsity and junior varsity programs.
They ve been working really hard, Hosler said. They re very focused. We also brought in a big freshmen class with 16 total players because we knew that we we re going to lose a ton of players.
Alma College has just seven upperclassman from a year ago.
The Scots have two seniors are their squad in defender Brittany Dulyea and midfielder/defender Danielle Hicks. Dulyea brings plenty of experience to the backfield after earning All MIAA honors her first three seasons at Alma College.
We re looking for Brittany to continue to play the same way she has the last three years and she has been fantastic, Hosler said. She s been one of the best defenders in the league year in and year out and we don t expect that to change.
Five juniors will take to the pitch for the Scots in defender Ann Kennedy, midfielder/defender Catherine Olson, Taryn Handyside and Autumn Root and forward Stephanie Smigiel.
In our junior class we have a lot of strong leaders as well as good players,
Hosler said. Taryn Handyside, Ann Kennedy and Autumn Root have all had significant playing time since the time they ve stepped on campus as a freshman, so they ve had a lot of game experience.
Despite not returning a large group of upperclassman, Hosler believes his team has bonded nicely and formed a program capable of anything.
We truly have great team chemistry, he said. When we work really hard and we have that chemistry then the girls are there pulling for each other. They re working hard for each other. We tend to have success in those tough games when some other teams may not.
The Scots will need to replace last year s goalkeeper Monica Witt who graduated last spring.
Alma College will have two sophomores who can be expected to fill those shoes with Morgan Waier and Rachel Doptis. Waier saw some action last season in net when she replaced Witt who suffered a season ending injury.
What set us apart in this recruiting class is that we have talent that Division I and Division II schools would love to have in this freshman class, Hosler said.
Alma College s home schedule features 10 matches, including eight conference games.
The Scots open their season this Friday at No. 9 Washington University (Mo.) before taking on Webster University (Mo.) on Sunday.
We ve really challenged ourselves with this non conference schedule, Hosler said. Washington University, who we play on Friday, the last two times we ve played them we ve lost 2 0 at home in 2009 and 1 0 in 2010 there in the 83rd minute and we really believe that the standard that they have set as a national power is something we aspire to have.
Alma College opens its home schedule on Sept. 4 against a perennial power in UC Santa Cruz. The Scots will conclude their non conference schedule at home on Sept. 9 against DePauw University (Ind.) to wrap up an impressive and challenging early season docket.