The 2005 season marks the Inaugural campaign for the Union University Lady Bulldog soccer program. According to head coach Brandon Boylan, “This team, as with any first year program, will have their ups and downs along the way.” Boylan believes that this collection of players have a great soccer background and will have a good learning process. The 2005 Lady Bulldogs are very versatile and have become very close during the preseason practices. With the group’s ability to learn and improve quickly, Coach Boylan hopes the learning progresses sooner rather than later.
Coach Boylan has gathered a wide range of players from various stages in their soccer careers. Among the group of upper classmen are four seniors and two juniors. Kerra Kunce, Lendy Wilson, Kari Bachman, and Eunice Sung make up the senior class. Nicole Simpson and Caroline Bredow are the two juniors.
The sophomore class has eight players to lead the way as the biggest classes on this year’s team. The list of sophomores include Moriah Mayfield, Heather Steele, Cynthia Medina, Lauren Williams, Amy Anderson, Chelsie Tharpe, Rachel Watson, and Charity Carter.
Seven freshman are looking to spend the next four seasons helping to build a strong foundation for women’s soccer at Union include Jennifer Hollis, Megan Okerson, Emily Rawls, Danielle Wilkinson, Daron Webb, Nikki Burau, and Vanessa Vander-Mallie.
Looking at the team by positions, Coach Boylan says the goalkeeper play is too close to call. Hollis and Steele are still battling for the starting spot. Burau has been tabbed as one of the top offensive players on the squad with her athleticism and speed. She’s the player Union will look to get the ball to in key situations. Holding down the midfield will be Bachman and Tharpe. Both are needed to help Union with ball handling and possession. Rawls and Williams are two of the top pure athletes on the team and will be called on to solidify the defense for the Lady Bulldogs.
As all inaugural seasons go, this will obviously be a learning process as they step into a very competitive TranSouth Conference. Union has been picked to finish sixth out of seven teams in the 2005 TranSouth Preseason Coach’s Poll. However, Union has proven they don’t take long to become consistent contenders with the quick success of volleyball, cross country, and men’s soccer, teams that have started new varsity programs over the past eight years.