It is time to hit the fields once again as the Minnesota State soccer team is ready to pick up where they left off last year. After a successful year, the Maverick women lost a few key seniors but still seem to be poised for success.
The 2015 campaign was fantastic for MSU Mankato, as they finished the year with a record of 18-2-2.
As the Mavs entered their first tournament in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Tournament, the team was sitting at a 16-1-1 record and were hoping to translate some of their regular season success into tournament success. It started off well, as they made easy work of the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears by defeating them 6-2.
The Mavericks next opponent contained a rematch from a few weeks prior against the Winona State Warriors. They grinded out a tough matchup against each other, as each team tried to garner an advantage over the other. The ending result was regulation ending in a 1-1 draw. The game was forced into a shootout and Winona State escaped with the victory.
In the NCAA Division II tournament MSU’s record led them to receiving a first round bye in the tournament. In their first round of the match, they managed to shut out the Augustana Vikings 2-0 to propel them into the third round of the tournament.
It was in the third round that the Mavs saw their season come to an end. The Mavericks were matched up against the Central Missouri Jennies. It was a low scoring affair to say the least, as there was one, lone goal made in the entire duration of play. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, the goal was scored for the Jennies which would end the 2015 season for the Mavericks.
Moving forward to the 2016 season, the Mavericks are going to have to try to recapture their success without the help of a couple of key players. Last year’s star Korey Kronforst and outstanding goal keeper Lauren Hoeppner have departed, but the team should still have plenty of talent left.
Taking the place of Hoeppner as goalkeeper is going to be rookie sophomore Taylor Livermore. Livermore received a little bit of playing time last year by seeing action for two games. In those two games, she was able to save three goals.
The Mavericks will also be welcoming in goalkeepers Ryann Rydeen and Alexa Rabune into the mix. In the one exhibition game that was on August 16th, both Rydeen and Rabune split playing time of thirty minutes each and together only allowed one goal.
Bringing some experience and veteran leadership to the squad will be three seniors in Maddy Smith, Dana Savino, and Kiana Nickel.
Nickel may end up being relied on quite a bit in 2016 as she was last year. She has the most starting experience from last year to this year, as she started all 22 of the games played. Nickel ended the year with 11 goals, 9 assists, and had the best shooting percentage on the team with a .268% clip.
Savino had herself a nice year as well, ending the season with three goals and five assists while playing and starting in 18 games. Smith will enter her senior year after a 2015 campaign that saw her chalk up both one goal and one assist.
Fans should keep an eye on junior Jenny Hoerter as well, as she could end up with a fantastic season after contributing three goals and seven assists last year.
Exhibition games will continue this weekend, as the Mavericks get set to take on Gustavus August 27th for ‘students-welcome-back-day’ at the Pitch here in Mankato. The match is set to begin at 5 p.m.