ALLIANCE, Ohio – After posting 11 wins, matching the school-record for wins in a season, third-year head coach Kelley Clark and the Mount Union women's soccer team look to expand upon their 2012 success. The Purple Raiders have nine key returning players, joining them in 2013 is a skilled group of incoming freshmen.
"As a team we are excited for this upcoming year," Clark said. "We are just looking to build on our success from last season, with the talented group of first-year players and our experienced veterans."
The offense is headlined by three players that earned all-conference honors in sophomores Shannon Evans (Newbury/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) and Kolbie Haines (Hudson/Hudson) along with junior Gina Wall (Warren/Howland).
Evans, the first Raider to earn All-OAC First team honors in 12 years, was third in the OAC in scoring as a true freshman. Haines was an All-OAC honorable mention pick and was third on the team with assists while Wall was on the All-OAC second team and was second on the team in goal scoring.
Also returning on the offensive side are juniors Ashley Sams (Alliance/St. Thomas Aquinas) and Amanda Tamerlano (North Royalton/North Royalton). Sams notched two goals in 17 games, and Tamerlano who posted one goal and one assist in 17 starts in 2012.
Juniors Erika Druzina (Kirtland/Lake Catholice), who saw started 16 games as a sophomore and Jessica Finkler (Brunswick/Holy Name), who had two assists in 17 starts, are back to lead the Mount Union defense with veteran goalkeeper Maria Favorite (Chesterland/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin). Favorite posted 94 saves in 17 games last season.
"We're always looking to improve from the year before; I know that with our group of incoming freshmen and experienced returners, we'll be looking at making a run in the OAC Tournament and further into the postseason" Clark says.
Joining Clark on the 2013 coaching staff is assistant coach and 2013 Point Park (Pa.) University graduate Maeve Gallagher.
The Raiders open its 2013 campaign at Bethany (W.Va.) College Tournament against Oberlin on Aug. 30 at 3:00 p.m. and follow with a Saturday match against tournament host Bethany at 1:00 p.m. The Raiders play their first home match on Sept. 14 against Allegheny (Pa.) at 2:00 p.m. and OAC action begins Oct. 5 when they host OAC champion Ohio Northern at 1:00 p.m.