Defensive Preview (8/18) | Midfield Preview (8/19)
SEATTLE – Wednesday wraps up the position previews for the Washington women’s soccer team with a look at the forwards. It was no secret the 2013 team struggled to put the ball in the goal. A strong defensive teams, the offense created chances, but finishing is what kept the Dawgs from a return to the NCAA Tournament.
Senior Jaclyn Softli is a player to watch as she is expected to take over as the main striker for the Huskies. Now in her fourth season in Montlake, the athletic and skilled forward looks to make the leap to dynamic goal scorer. Softli was in fine form for the Sounders Women over the summer and has looked to have taken her game to the next level so far this preseason. Joining Softli up front is a pair of talented returners in Chelsea Archer and Becca Schoales. Archer is a co-captain this year as a senior and will be a key piece of the attack. She can play wide, as a striker or as an attacking midfielder helping set up the offense. Schoales had a solid freshman season, scoring three goals, despite not being all the way healthy from an injury in high school. She is back to 100 percent and will be a big part of the offense as a wing or striker. The final veteran is UNLV transfer Miranda Rawlings, who was with the Dawgs during the spring. The speedy offensive threat paid immediate dividends during the spring schedule where the goals were plentiful for the Huskies. Joining the attack are a pair of freshmen in Rachel Wheeler and Jenay McAuley. Wheeler is a big, athletic forward who could be a force down the road for Washington, but will add depth as she adjust to the college game. McAuley joined the Dawgs late in the recruiting process as a restart specialist.
Gallimore on the Forwards:
“Up front we feel like we have some depth. We have four returners, including Miranda who played with us in the spring. Jaclyn, Chelsea, Becca and Miranda all played a lot in the spring and helped us. We want from being a team that was dismal in front of the goal that looked great in front of the goal this spring. Now, we just need that to transfer to the competitive season. Of those four, I’d have to say Jaclyn looks in the best form from how she played with the Sounders this summer to how she has looked this preseason. I think she is ready to be a go-to player. She wants to put it on her shoulders, she wants to be the one. She is aggressive in front of goal, both footed and athletic enough to be that go-to player. For the newcomers, Rachel is big and strong and looks like a target player, but I think is better out wide in space. She could also play in the midfield, but gives us good depth and someone that can be a key player when she catches up with the speed of the game. Jenay was a late addition and is a restart specialist for us. We have loved her attitude and work ethic so far. She is to the point where she can have a role on this team.”