season outlook

After another record setting season for a young Union University women’s soccer program, the Lady Bulldog soccer team of 2008 looks to be even better. Union head coach Brandon Boylan and assistant coach Isaac Brooks believe the success of 2007 was just a step to what this team can accomplish in 2008. After winning a school record of 13 games, including a 6-2 TranSouth mark and a second straight region appearance, Union feels confident of their chances for another run at the postseason.

The senior class has just four members. Cheslie Tharpe returns after missing half of 2007, but in her nine matches, she added five assists and a goal. Emily Rawls returns for her senior year after playing in all 19 games for Union in 2007 on defense. Julie Ocampos-Barry and Daron Webb also return for the senior seasons. Tharpe, Rawls, and Webb are the only three players left who were members of the inaugural season in 2005.

The junior class is made up of 17 players. Leading the way is Union’s first ever NAIA All-American in Caitlin Zimmerman. She also was awarded All-Region and All-Conference in 2007 with her team high 21 goals, nine assists, and 51 points. Laura Pla returns as an All-Conference goalie. Brooke Walker also returns after an All-Conference season in 2007. Other returning players that played varsity roles in 2007 are Alicia Bennett, Roxanna Skelton, Katie Moser, Abigial Williams, Candice Blackard, Jill Landers, Katelin Dirksen, and Cara Pasley. Several junior have spent time working on their skills with the reserve team and will look to move to the varsity squad in 2008. These include Meagan Tobosa, Maggie Paredes, Rachel Fillinger, Lauren Jackson, Kelly Harris, and Katie Sale.

Eleven sophomores are back for a second season of Union women’s soccer. Sam Gase and Eboni Murphy both earned All-Conference honors in 2007, with Gase also being named an All-Region performer. Korie Elrod, Amber Lovelady, and Kelly Bogdanovich each played roles on the varsity team in 2007. Carrie Moore, Leah Bender, Ruth Shea, Courtni Kimble, Kimberlee Hauss, and Jamie Haynes each spent time on the reserve team with hopes of contributing to the varsity program in 2008.

The freshman class brings six new faces to the women’s soccer program at Union. Bridget Roney, Christina Reardon, Cara Stinson, Terilyn Wassell, Morgan Walley, and Katie Johnson each look to leave their mark on Lady Bulldog soccer before their careers are done.

Of the 39 players making up the two teams, 32 of the players are returning.  This wealth of experience will only help improve on the steps of the three previous seasons.  And with the three players on this team who were here in 2005 when the program began, each will want to make sure their historic senior season will continue the trend of growth and improvement of Union women's soccer.


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