2012 Women's Soccer Preview: Defenders
Aug. 14, 2012
SEATTLE - Our Husky women's soccer team preview continues with a look at the defensive unit. Head coach Lesle Gallimore expects the defenders to be and play as one of their most experienced lines on the field, anchored by Molly Boyd, Annie Sittauer, Stine Schoening, Lindsey Bos, and Sami Page--all returners from last year's squad.
Juniors Boyd, Sittauer, Schoening, and Bos all gained valuable experience this summer playing for club teams and in summer leagues. Sittauer saw an extensive amount of playing time with the Sounders Women this summer, Boyd played a major roll with Issaquah Soccer Club, and Bos and Schoening played consistently for Emerald City FC. Meanwhile, sophomore Sami Page spent time in California training, and Gallimore says all have looked sharp in preseason camp.
Boyd, a native of Seattle, earned a starting spot her freshman year and has become a mainstay on the Huskies defensive line. Last season she played and started in 18 games as a sophomore.
Sittauer (Everett, Wash.) played in all 20 games in her second year, starting 14 of them, and was named the team's most improved player for the 2011 season.
Schoening (Woodinville, Wash.), who transferred from UNC Greensboro after her freshman year started and played in all 20 games in her first year as a Husky in 2011. Nicknamed the defense's "Unsung hero," she is expected to have a solid year on the back line.
As a freshman in 2011, Page (Moorpark, Calif.) played in 17 games, starting 12 of them. Page, along with the others, possess a significant amount of playing experience that should translate into a strong returning defensive unit for the 2012 squad.
Gallimore also has some talented incoming players that she expects to compete for playing time during their first year as Huskies.
"Katey Fawcett (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and Charlee Garcia (Pleasanton, Calif.) have looked solid in training and are working hard to earn playing time in their freshmen campaigns," says Gallimore. "Both could also play midfield roles." Fawcett's mother, Joy, is a Hall of Famer and played in four Women's World Cups and three Olympic Games.
Coach Gallimore has hopes that highly touted incoming freshman McKenzie Karas (Las Vegas, Nev.) can return from a tear of her ACL that she suffered during her senior season of high school. Nicknamed "Jammer," she was recently named the sixth best defender in the country and No. 33 player overall. According to Gallimore, Karas is coming along nicely from the ACL reconstruction surgery she had in February, and is working hard towards getting on the field in 2012.
Another incoming freshman, Berkley Gamble (Boulder, Colo.), who was expected to make an immediate impact for the Huskies, suffered an unfortunate setback during preseason training camp last week. For the second time in three years, Gamble tore her ACL, this time in the opposite knee of the tear she suffered during her junior year of high school. Gallimore and her staff are "bummed for Berk" but they know that she will come back strong from the injury and be ready to go next year.
Overall, Gallimore believes the defensive has enough experience to be strong on the defensive line. "We'll be solid defensively," she says. "We have to come out and set the tone from the get-go."
The 2012 season begins on Friday at Seattle U at 4 p.m. Check back on Wednesday for a preview on the midfielders.