MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s soccer team finished the 2011 season in a tie for fourth place, and that’s where league coaches picked the Tigers to finish again in 2012, it was announced Tuesday morning.
Dakota Wesleyan received 67 points in the GPAC Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll and was picked to finish fourth along with Concordia University, as voted on by the league’s head coaches. Last season, the Tigers, Concordia and Dordt College all finished with identical 6-4 league records. Dakota Wesleyan finished the year 7-6-3 overall in 2011.
Hastings College – which won the league’s regular-season and tournament titles and made it to the NAIA National Tournament – was picked to win the league with 100 points and 10 first-place votes. Midland University took second with 86 points and Doane College was a close third with 85 points and the final first-place vote.
Senior Yutzil Rodriguez will be a leader for the Tigers this season. She finished second on the team with seven goals and led the team with five assists as a junior in 2011. Also back are senior Emily Mizrahi, who had four goals and four assists, and Megan Johnson is back for her sophomore season after recorded four goals as a freshman last year. Abby Hubbard and Cassie Landgaard each scored two goals in 2011, and Lindsey Corrin, Linsey Peterson, Alex Kuehler and Thara Ali Said all had one goal in last year. Rodriguez earned All-GPAC Second Team accolades as a junior in 2011, and Peterson earned honorable mention.
Dakota Wesleyan lost several key players to graduation, including All-GPAC Second Team picks Kasha Roberts and Kayla Pahl and honorable mention selection Skye Pahl. Head coach Dale Roden also added some talented names to the roster in the offseason, including goalie Erika Carpenter. Carpenter comes to Dakota Wesleyan from Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kan. She broke all the school’s goal keeping records in her two seasons with the program. Other key signees include Pierre, S.D. natives and teammates Allison Blow and Maranda Ehrenfried.
The Tigers start the 2012 season Sunday, Aug. 19, with an exhibition game against Wayne State University in Wayne, Neb. DWU starts the regular season Sept. 9 at Jamestown College, and plays its first home game Sept. 22 against Hastings. All home games are at the Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex in Mitchell.