"If not now, when? If not us, who?" That's the expression head coach Eva Meredith, who is entering her 13th season, uses to define the expectations for this year's Wesleyan University women's soccer team after finishing last season with a 6-7-2 overall record and 3-5-2 NESCAC mark. Meredith and her revamped coaching staff, which features new additions AJ Stueck - cousin of Flo Stueck, the all-time leader in goals and points - and 2015 graduate Brynn Hansson, four-year starter for Wesleyan. They will join returning coaches Bill Dudzik and Jeremy Wilson to provide the staff with plenty of depth as the 2016 Cardinals will feature 18 returning players and 10 freshman.
Wesleyan will look to take advantage of a favorable schedule which features nine home games to six away contests. The Cardinals will open the year with three non-conference games before opening the NESCAC slate September 17 against Bowdoin at home. Meredith notes the nine home games are something that the team needs to take advantage of.
MEET THE TEAM
The Cardinals will look to replace three outstanding leaders and captains in Rachel Hobert '16, Marisa Yang '16 and Kaylie Williams '16, as well as Madeline Keane '16, who was Second Team All-NESCAC a year ago.
Swenson, a three-year starter, looks to continue with her great leadership and ball distribution on the back line. Gonzalez-Gandolfi will bring tenacious defense to the Cardinals with her ball winning ability. Sophomore Lauren Goetzman, who is returning from an ACL injury sustained in the game against Amherst, will be the engine in the midfield for the Cardinals. The duo will be joined by freshmen Nicole Brodkowitz, a technically very sound and physically strong midfielder from Potomac, Md., and Clare Coyle, goalkeeper from Wynnewood, Pa, whose sister Ann is a senior on the team.
On offense, Liz Young '19 is a fast and dynamic attacker who netted six goals as a freshman. She will be joined by freshmen Katie Frizzell, who is a potential goal-scoring threat on the attack from Costa Mesa, Calif.