More firsts in sight for Spartans
Issue date: 8/28/09 Section: Soccer
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The Spartans have a solid lineup with returning starters and incoming freshman. Lead scorer and All-UAA conference honorable mention Ana Arruda will be back this season, as well as sophomore Laura Gabster, who not only saw the most playing time last season, but also served as the solid anchor in the defensive line. Also returning to the Spartan squad this year are two key players who were absent from last season; senior Caroline Garber and junior Amy Bishara. Garber earned All-UAA honorable mention honors in 2007 and was an important force in the starting lineup. Bishara led the team with seven goals and also earned All-UAA honorable mention honors in the 2007 season. With Garber and Bishara returning, the Spartans gain back two skilled and experienced players.
This season the women's soccer team faces tough UAA powerhouse teams like Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago. Almost half of the UAA conference schools rank in the top 25 of the NCAA Division III pre season poll. Though the Spartans were unable to win a UAA conference match last season, and though the face a tough lineup again this year, there is no doubt that they can pull off a great season. Look back to last season's unforgettable matchup against nationally ranked No. 8 Washington University in St. Louis - the Spartans outplayed WashU and held the lead for the majority of the game. However, after WashU came back, the Case team suffered a heartbreaking loss, though their level of play certainly proved that the Spartans deserved to win. If the Spartans come out to play like this for the UAA games this season, expect to see the conference wins stacking up. The Spartans face WashU again this season October 16, and will have the opportunity to take back the win they were robbed of last season. This season looks promising, not only because of the improving momentum from the past two seasons, but also because the Spartans appear to have real depth and experience this year. The Spartans tend to do well in the non-conference games, as demonstrated by their memorable win against Wooster last season. This season, however, the Spartans have a good shot at breaking into the conference games and coming out with some wins. If they can accomplish this, there will be no turning back from an amazing season.
At a Glance
Player to watch: Junior Amy Bishara, back from missing a season, previous lead scorer and starter in 2007
Key game: Washington University in St. Louis - the Spartans have the chance to take back the win they deserve.
Comment: This could be the deal-breaking season. If the Spartans can come out with some conference wins, the positive outlook of the women's soccer program will be solidified.