Women's Soccer Spring Wrapup
Bearcats headed to BIG EAST
Contact: Jeremy Martin
Marie Strelka lead the Bearcats in goals during the spring season.
CINCINNATI, Ohio-The University of Cincinnati women’s soccer team concluded their spring season with a 2-6-1 record taking on both Division I and club team opponents. After a disappointing 2004 season, the Bearcats used the spring as a time to regroup and work on the team’s chemistry and game as they prepare to enter the BIG EAST Conference in 2005. The Bearcats will enter into the inaugural BIG EAST season officially on July 1 with their exhibition play opening on Aug. 16 in a contest against Miami of Ohio.
The Bearcats saw strong performances this spring from their veterans Marie Strelka (Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull), and Lauren Buland (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central). Strelka lead the Bearcats with five goals this spring while Buland contributed with a number of assists and the flexibility to play anywhere on the field.
The spring season also previewed what is to come in the fall from the Bearcats’ younger members. Kristen Gerwin (Cleves, Ohio/ Taylor), Andrea Haney (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson), and Rachel Epps (Grapevine, Texas/ Grapevine) all showed great improvement and skill from the fall season portending their further growth over the summer training period.
“I have a couple utility players and we need that,” commented head coach Meridy Glenn. “Everyone was in their role (this spring). (Kristen) Gerwin, for example, came out in the beginning of spring shell-shocked and by the end of the season, recorded a goal and an assist. Part of the spring is knowing where you sit, knowing where the team is and what the vision in the fall will be.”
The Bearcat defense will be a mature group who will be anchored in 2005 by Jessica Legge (Aurora, Ind./ South Dearborn) and Ashley Roush (Dublin, Ohio/ Dublin Scioto), who returned from being out for two years due to injury. Roush brings a strong soccer mentality to the team and will be looked upon to lead the young Bearcat squad.
“Roush is a player who brings it to every training, every game. She has a great soccer sense. We need that,” commented Glenn.
Midfielder Becky Imhoff (Cincinnati, Ohio/McNicholas) missed spring season due to shoulder surgery, but has been training with the team and will be the backbone of the Bearcat midfield upon her return in the fall. Haney and Kate Norton (Rector, Pa./Greenburg Central Catholic), who also had a strong spring showing, will complete the midfield.
Strelka and Ana Farmer (Renfrewshire, Scotland/Paisley Grammar) will lead the Bearcats in the forward positions. Each having strong spring seasons, the Bearcats will look to them to get off many goal scoring opportunities by using both their size and strength to battle opponents.
“The biggest things that the team worked on this winter was their training, conditioning, and strength work, and you could see that out on the field,” Glenn stated.
Entering the BIG EAST, UC will face six teams on their schedule that played in the 2004 NCAA College Cup. After a disappointing fall season, the Bearcats used the 2005 spring season to move players around and find the best combinations.
“We worked on a lot of systems of play this spring and a lot of it was very successful. We had a lot of strong finishes and we try to be consistent. We want the players to be consistent and that is hard to do in college,” Glenn commented. “We’re UC and we should be playing at this level. You can’t sell yourself short and we are going to step up to the plate (in the BIG EAST). How do you grow as a player if you don’t put yourself up against the best?”
The Bearcats will welcome ten newcomers this fall and all are expected to contribute and make and immediate impact upon their arrival.
UC will open the 2005-2006 season with exhibition play as they take on Miami of Ohio on Aug.16 in Oxford. Game time is set for 6 p.m.
“We aim to be exciting and give it our best shot this fall”, said Glenn. “From now till August, the team has to be hungry.”