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Season Preview: Depth reaches new heights in 2015 for GU women's soccer

Season Preview: Depth reaches new heights in 2015 for GU women's soccer

WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet University women's soccer team enters the 2015 season with the most student-athletes (19) it has had in nearly a decade. Second-year head coach Liza Offreda returns 10 players from last year's squad and welcomes nine new faces to the program. She hopes to build off the positive attitudes and newfound aggressiveness on the pitch.

The Bison will feature seven seniors including several players who have been a constant part of the program for the past three years including; goalie Jennifer Livengood (Jacksonville, Fla.), midfielder/defender Megan Calik (Conyers, Ga.), defender Ashleigh Weatherholtz (Front Royal, Va.) and midfielder Katie Benz (Ottawa, Ontario).

2014 REVIEW
Record:
3-14
NEAC Record:
2-10
Highlight:
Scored nine goals against St. Elizabeth College, the first time since 2005. 

TOP RETURNERS

Katie Benz (Ottawa, Ontario), Sr., Midfield
Benz returns as captain for her senior year. Last season, Benz played all 17 games and started in 13. She scored two of the nine goals against St. Elizabeth. Benz was also a third team All-NEAC honoree in 2011 as a freshman. 

Nicole Smith (St. Louis, Mo.), Jr., Defense
Smith returns for her junior year as a leader of the Bison defense. She started in 10 games she played last year.

Anastasia Murray (Raleigh, N.C.), So., Forward
Murray led the Bison last season with six goals (two game-winning goals) and second on the team with 12 points, 14 shots on goal and 27 shots.

KEY LOSSES

Sofia Lindevall (Stockholm, Sweden), Midfield/Forward
Lindevall was a key player for the Bison for three years. She started in all 50 games she appeared in and scored 19 goals, five came during the 2014 season.

Elena Ciccarelli (Whitesboro, N.Y.), Defense
Ciccarelli graduated in May 2015 as Gallaudet University's first four-year, three-sport student-athlete. Ciccarelli was featured in the June 1st issue of Sports Illustrated as one of six people selected for the weekly "Faces in the Crowd" and was nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year. As a standout defender, she started in 60 of the 65 games she played during her Bison soccer career.

IMPACT ADDITIONS

Bree Sproule (Oyama, British Columbia), Sr., Defense/Midfield
Sproule joins the women's soccer team as a senior defender who is a new leader with a lot of motivation on the field.

Olivia Stein (Tucson, Ariz.), Sr., Midfield
Stein joins women's soccer from the women's softball team, with two years of experience being a Gallaudet student-athlete. She is strong player who will be aggressive in the midfield.

Brittany Mallach (Milton, Ontario), Fr., Forward
Mallach is new to the Bison soccer team but brings a positive attitude and hustle. She will offer some offense upfront.

These new key players are all very aggressive, they hustle for every play and are a positive influence on the other players. They bring more energy to the team this year.

QUOTING COACH

"I'm seeing a lot of positive attitudes from the players, they have become really close so I am looking forward to winning a lot of games this year. I believe they will be able to accomplish many things this season." Liza Offreda, Gallaudet University women's soccer head coach

SCHEDULE OVERVIEW

  • Season opener: at Trinity Washington University Fri., Sept. 4
  • Home opener: vs. Notre Dame (Md.) Tues., Sept. 8
  • Conference Opener: at Penn College Fri., Sept 18
  • Home Conference Opener: vs. College of St. Elizabeth Sun., Sept. 20
  • 2014 Conference Champs: vs. Penn St.-Berks Sun., Oct. 11
  • Senior Day/Last home game: vs. SUNY Polytechnic Institute Sun., Oct. 25

BISON HOME GAMES

Sept. 8 vs. Notre Dame (Md.),  4 p.m.
Sept. 13 vs. Hood College, 12 p.m.
Sept. 15 vs. University of Valley Forge, 4 p.m.
Sept. 20 vs. College of Saint Elizabeth, 1 p.m.
Sept. 26 vs. Penn St.-Abington, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 vs. Lancaster Bible College, 2 p.m.
Oct. 11 vs. Penn St.-Berks, 2 p.m.
Oct. 14 vs. Christendom College, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 24 vs. SUNY Cobleskill, 1 p.m. (Homecoming)
Oct. 25 vs. SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2 p.m. (Senior Day)

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