Women’s soccer preview: Backs, Goalkeepers
HANOVER, Ind. – With the start of the 2017 season just around the corner, we begin our preview series for this year’s Hanover women’s soccer team with the backs and goalkeepers.
The Panthers impressive run continued last year as the team captured both the regular season and conference tournament championships for the fourth straight year.
Four-time Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Jim Watts will look to build onto that run this year with a defense that will feature a mix of youth and experience.
The experience will come from seniors Abby Shroyer (Zionsville, Ind.) and Katie Workman (Lexington, Ky.) as the pair will be expected to anchor the back line in 2017. Shroyer, the two-time HCAC Defensive Player of the Year, is one of only two returning players to start all 20 matches a year ago. One of the top defenders in school history, Shroyer, a three-time, first team all-conference selection, a three-time all-region-pick, and a third team All-American as a sophomore will once again serve as one of the team’s leaders this year.
Workman, an HCAC honorable mention pick as a sophomore, also returns after a strong junior campaign in which she was an HCAC first team selection. The senior started 17 matches last year, and along with Shroyer helped lead the defense to nine shutouts in 2016.
In addition to Shroyer and Workman, senior Taylor Browning (Indianapolis, Ind.), junior Abby Daley (Franklin, Ohio), and sophomores Kiki Crone (Indianapolis, Ind.), Mikaila Heavrin (Clarksville, Ind.), and Lizzie Matchett (Liberty Township, Ohio) are all back and will provide depth and experience in the backfield.
That experience will be important because there will be plenty of youth at the goalkeeper position this year. Karlee VanDerWeele, a two-year starter for the Panthers graduated leaving sophomore Emma DeBolt (West Chester, Ohio) as the only returning keeper. DeBolt appeared in three matches in 2016, and was part of two of the team’s nine shutouts.
The second-year keeper will be competing with a trio of freshmen this fall to help solidify the team’s defense.
Although there is a lack of experience at goalkeeper, there is still plenty of talent. With two of the top defenders in the league among a talented group of backs, the defense is poised to play a big role in the team’s success in 2017.
Hanover is set to open the season Friday, Sept. 1 against Kalamazoo (Mich.) as part of the Aurora University Chelsea Lloyd Memorial Classic in Aurora, Ill. The next look in our women’s soccer preview series will feature the team’s midfielders.
Contact: Mike Pritchard