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Union women's soccer looking to improve on record setting seasons

JACKSON, Tenn. - 8/14/2009 - The 2009 season for the Union University women's soccer program begins with great expectations. Twelve seniors will look to lead this team in hopes of claiming their first conference title in the short five-year history of the program. However, the task will not be easy as head coach Brandon Boylan will face his toughest schedule yet in 2009. Two teams from the NAIA National Tournament's final eight are on the schedule. Three other teams in the way were ranked or receiving votes in the national poll last season. To top it off, Union plays in a conference that boasts Martin Methodist, winners of two of the last four NAIA National Championships.

"We are a very experienced team with 12 seniors", says Boylan. "However, we are excited about the talent we see in the freshmen class and look for a big impact from many of them."

Of the 12 seniors, seven started for Union last season as juniors. Leading the way is Union's only NAIA All-American in women's soccer, Caitlin Zimmerman. She led Union with 17 goals and six assists on the season. Laura Pla returns in goal after recorded 66 saves and posting a .942 GAA in 2008. Zimmerman and Pla were both all-conference players in 2008. Candice Blackard was second on the team with seven goals in 2008. Alicia Bennett, Roxanna Skelton, Jill Landers and Katelin Dirksen also return with starting experience for 2009. Meagan Tobosa, Katie Moser, Maggie Peredes, Rachel Fillinger and Lauren Jackson each return off solid seasons with the reserve team and will look contribute in 2009.

The junior class is made up of eight players, six of which started for Union in 2008. Jamie Hayes led the juniors with five goals and Sam Gase started all 19 matches for Union, scoring one goal and making all-conference from the defense and mid-field position. Korie Elrod, Amber Lovelady, Kelly Bogdanovich and Eboni Murphy all return with starting experience from last season. Courtni Kimble and Katie Johnson played on the reserve team in 2008.

The smallest class on the 2009 roster is sophomore class, made up of just four players. Bridget Roney and Christina Reardon return after playing significantly as freshmen. Reardon started 18 of her 19 matches played, scoring two goals, while Roney played in 18 of the team's 19 matches. Terilyn Wassell returns after building her skills on the reserve team as freshmen, while Evie Felts joins Union as a newcomer on the 2009 roster.

Fourteen freshmen dominate the roster with several carrying high expectations into their first season of college soccer. Mollie Beanblossom, Olivia Burnette, Steffi King, Whitney Kramer, Sara Weir, Becca Menhart, Kelsey Gilbert, Tannis Bachman, Lindsey McGary, Mary Jane Garrott, Christina Brimm, Jerri Ann Hopper, Elizabeth Cochran and Alexandria Burbank will have opportunities to show and develop their skills as they begin their college careers.

The team set a school record with 13 wins in 2007, and then matched that win total again in 2008. Boylan and assistant coach Isaac Brooks are looking to take this squad of experienced players and talented underclassman push towards a conference title. The team opens play on Wednesday, August 19 at home in an exhibition game with NCAA DII Christian Brothers (Tenn.) University at 4:00 p.m. The Lady Bulldogs will then open their season on the road in Illinois with two games, before coming home for their home opener on Saturday, August 29 at 12:00 p.m. versus Brewton-Parker (Ga.) College.


Steven Aldridge
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Sports Information
Fax: (731) 661-5182

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