Mountain Lions Look to Climb Higher in 2012

By Bryan Forget published August 27, 2012

Fresh off a new record in overall win percentage, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs women's soccer team will look to build off that success with another trip to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament. The UCCS women's soccer team will have its leading scorer, its starting goalkeeper, and a group of seniors returning from last year. The program has been getting better and better through every season and will look to continue to build and grow as a program. This will be the UCCS women's soccer team's fifth season in program history.

"This coming season should go fairly well for us", said Head Coach Nichole Ridenour. "It will be our first year without the four-year letterwinnersfor the first time that we graduated last year, but we have some returners that are eager to fill their spots."

Other than a few student-athletes, such as the starting goaltender and a strong redshirt student-athlete player on defense returning, this will be a new experience for the defense because the defensive line graduated last year.

"Leading our defense this season, we have a couple of options," Ridenour said. "Our goalie, Kelly Schroeder, is always a big one. AnnickPearson will be stepping into the center back role, and along with incoming freshmen, it will be a new defensive line since the seniors that led last year have graduated."

Schroeder posted a 1.42 goals against average last year along with two shutouts and 52 saves. Pearson is a redshirt freshmen that did not play but has anchored defenses in high school and also helped lead the Colorado Rapids Under-20 team to the North American title.

On the offensive side, the Mountain Lions return a lot of the scoring from last season. The offense is expected to be run by Hannah Rather and Hannah Levett, who combined for five goals last season.

"Leading our offense should be our returning forwards", Ridenour said. "Rather and Levett have worked well off each other in the spring season and then we'll be pairing them with some new girls."

Ridenour hopes that a junior college transfer will work well with the other forwards, especially Rather and Levett. A good portion of the team is newcomers and even a couple of forwards are freshmen. Ridenour will be expecting contributions from all of her newcomers.     

"One of our incoming players would be Angela Castellanos, whom we picked up last year," Ridenour said. "She did great things at her junior college, and hopefully plays well with Rather and Levett."

Ridenour really wants the team to play the same way no matter who they play. She wants the team to build up the program by playing consistent every day. Ridenour also wants the team to make it to the RMAC tournament because it would be a good experience and it would help the program grow.

"One of our goals is to keep consistent, no matter if we play the best team or worst team," Ridenour said. "Obviously our next goal is to make it to the RMAC tournament since two of the last four years we made it, and last year we were left out by one slot."

It is too early to tell who will lead the midfield because there are a lot of players that are fighting for spots.

"(Our midfield is) still open," Ridenour said.  "(It's) too open with several players fighting for positions."

Ridenour is excited to be opening the season with six straight home games. This is a big opportunity for the UCCS women's soccer to get off to a good start this season.

"It is in our favor to have the six home games," Ridenour said. "We worked hard to get scheduled to make sure we had our home, our turf, and our fans, and it definitely works in our favor"

The Mountain Lions also will have home games against CSU-Pueblo on Oct.14 and Colorado School of Mines on Sept. 28 at Mountain Lion Stadium. The RMAC tournament begins Oct. 31 with opening round action, the semifinals on Nov. 2 and the final on Nov. 4.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Agnes ArnadottirAgnes Arnadottir22FSr
Hannah LevettHannah Levett18FSo
Kelly SchroederKelly Schroeder1GKJr.
Hannah RatherHannah Rather7FSo
Annick PearsonAnnick Pearson3DR-Fr
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