Photo by Gabi Campbell
The season hasn’t even begun yet and the Utah Valley University women’s soccer team is off to a great start as it has been selected as co-favorites, alongside Seattle U, to win the 2016 Western Athletic Conference title by vote of the eight head coaches.
With a record of 14-7-1, last season marked the most wins in a single season for UVU and the Wolverines look forward to what should be yet another landmark year. Besides being selected as one of the two favorites to win the title, senior defender Kalli Suesue has been tabbed the WAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year by WAC coaches.
Not only has Suesue been named the Preseason Defensive Player of the year, she and senior midfielder Taylor Kirk have been named to the Preseason All-WAC Team.
With high expectations for this season, the players and coaches are trying to focus on what’s ahead of them by using last season’s success as a stepping-stone rather than setting the bar for this year.
“Something that we worked a lot on this summer is being cohesive, and being able to not look at the past and want to relive that season, but being able to take a step higher and keep progressing forward,” said junior forward Alexis Peterson.
Head coach Brent Anderson is trying to look at things from a different perspective for this season.
“We are trying to build on what we did last year, it’s not going to be the same season, we have new challenges, new players, it’s a new team,” said Anderson.
UVU is trying to build on what they accomplished last year, but they are well aware that this is a new season full of its own challenges and obstacles. Anderson wants the team to compete at a higher level, and he believes that the group of freshmen added this year will be a great addition to the team.
Anderson looks forward to every match for the season, and he believes that each team they are facing is a high quality opponent. With an upcoming home opener against Southern Utah on Aug. 26, the Wolverines are eager to play the in-state rival that handed them a 2-1 loss last season.
Another key match for UVU is against the Arizona Wildcats, a team that had an overall record of 14-6-2 last season and is ranked 20th in the NSCAA coaches poll this year.
“These games are hard but that’s going to get us ready for our season and conference tournament,” sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Davis said.
With a high amount of returning players and a freshman class that, according to Peterson, are some of the key scorers in practice, this team is ready for the challenge that this season is sure to bring.
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