By Cory Spaugh
With a roster full of new players and a solid cast of returning players, the Lady Catamounts soccer team is looking to improve on last year’s 11-9-3 record.
Western returns only two seniors and ten juniors from last year’s team, but the incoming freshmen and returning sophomores are looking to make a significant contribution to help the team have a winning season.
In total there are 21 underclassmen on the roster.
The returning players include seniors Buki Baruwa and Arlan Whittle, and last year’s leading scorer Bri Cunningham, who is looking to improve on her solid sophomore campaign and have a better junior season. Along with the eleven incoming freshmen, the team added two transfers, Kelly Estes from N.C. State and Hilary Holder from Columbus State.
With the direction of Coach Tammy DeCesare and the hard work and dedication of the players, the Catamount soccer program is sure to be a force to be reckoned with.
Looking to make a name for themselves early, the Lady Catamounts opened the 2008 season with two consecutive road matches on Friday, Aug. 22 at East Carolina and Sunday, Aug. 24 at N.C State.
The match against ECU was a very tight contest, but the Catamounts fell to the Pirates 1 – 0 in the end, with the only goal scored coming in the first half. Western out shot the Pirates three to one in the second half, but the Catamounts were unable to penetrate the defense and tie the score.
The match at N.C State was heated as well. The score was tied at zero at intermission, but less than one minute into the second half, the Wolfpack were able to end the stalemate at the thirty two second mark.
Paige Dugal picked up the goal for N.C. State, her first collegiate score.
Despite having opportunities to score in the second half, the Lady Cats were unable to crack into the score column. The Wolfpack added a goal late in the second half by Nadia Abdoulhson to win 2 – 0.
Western, hoping to improve on the early season slump, leaves tomorrow Sept. 12 to participate in the Yale Tournament. They return home to play the South Carolina Lady Gamecocks on September 21st and begin Southern Conference play at The Citadel on September 26th.
The Lady Cats first conference home game is against Wofford on October 3rd.