Women's Soccer - Thu, Aug. 30, 2007
The Spring Hill College women's soccer team is stocked with experienced players and is ready to take on any and all challenges that await them in the 2007 season. "Our practices this summer have been much more competitive," comments Head Coach Adam Pearce, "The depth of talent runs much deeper this year than last season. We have six returning seniors and the preseason injuries that usually haunt you during a season have been minimal."
Pearce's hard-nosed defensive style of play that he learned from his playing days in the northwest and then brought with him to The Hill during his first season last year might have to be tweaked a little this season, however. "The talent level on the Gulf Coast mixed with the Bermuda grass of the southeast allows us to mix things up and be creative," Pearce says, "But that means we'll have to be fit and leave it all on the field each time we go out."
A core of veteran returning seniors will be the heart of the Lady Badgers squad in 2007. Pearce specifically points to his two midfielders from St. Louis, Mo., Jennifer Huber and Megan Wientge. Huber, the team's captain, provides her teammates with leadership and stability according to Pearce, "She's very predictable in the sense that you know every day what she's going to bring to practice and the games. She has set the standard for our newcomers." Pearce will lean on his seniors heavily in '07, but he's confident that they can handle the burden. "They really share the load," he observes, "They know they can impact the new players not just on the field, but off it, too."
The increasing depth at Spring Hill is most obviously evident at the goalkeeper position where senior Shannon Netherby from Moramar, N.J., has been pushed throughout the early workouts by the two talented freshmen Brandi Harris of Titusville, Fla., and Sam Brunk of Cummings, Ga. "At this point the job is still open," states Pearce, "They're pushing each other every day."
In front of the goalie, the Lady Badger defense will be lead by Dani Arce, a freshman defender from Miami, Fla., who plays with intelligence and brings technical skills to her game. Another freshman, Kelli Duncan of Clinton, Miss., will be a leader in the midfield transition plays that are so crucial to a team's success. "Kelli is already an accomplished player who has won club championships and participated in region and state playoffs," remarks Pearce, "but the great thing about her is that she knows she still has to develop her game to succeed at the collegiate level. Through out the preseason she has brought the entire team to a new level."
On offense, Kasey Pruett, a sophomore transfer from Troy State, has shown herself to be a valuable addition to the roster. "What an exciting player!" Pearce exclaims, "She has a nose for the goal and really inspires the rest of the team."
Spring Hill kicks off the 2007 season by hosting Christian Brothers University at 4 p.m. this Friday, August 31 in the opening match of the "NAIA and NCAA Division II Challenge". Other contests scheduled for the event include North Alabama versus Eckerd College at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Christian Brothers will play Eckerd on Sunday at
1 p.m. followed by Spring Hill challenging North Alabama at 3:30 p.m.