Youth and athleticism are key components for Bluffton in 2006
August 10, 2006
|Fourth year head coach Steve Smucker anticipates great improvement in the women's program with the return of a solid freshman class from last season in addition to eight new first-year athletes. Losing only two players to graduation will aid this team as the lineup has been bolstered with much needed depth and athleticism.|
The Bluffton women's soccer team steadily improved last season but suffered through a challenging schedule with just fifteen healthy bodies. Key to the changes expected on the pitch is the increase in speed and athleticism, not to mention increased technical soccer skills.
Creating chances and scoring goals was not a primary problem last year and it's expected that returning sophomores Elyse Burckhart (Telford, PA/ Souderton) and Allison White (Lima/Shawnee) along with returning junior Kenzey Meyer (Hilliard/Hilliard-Darby) will again spearhead the attack. Incoming freshman Heather Pulford (Lima/Bath) is expected to add her knack for scoring as well. Strengthening the midfield is veteran transfer Jessica Good (Elida/Elida) who adds leadership and tremendous athletic ability.
Defensively, the Beavers return key players Chantel Mangrum (Jackson, TN/Jackson Christian), Eva Voth (Bluffton/Bluffton), Gina Elsea (Findlay/Findlay) and veteran Rochelle Stoltzfus (Bluffton/Bluffton). Other returning starters looking to fill positions in either the backfield or midfield are Lauren Fairchild (Toledo/Whitmer), Alexis Kantner (Wapakoneta/Wapakoneta), Rachel Dionne (Hillsboro, NH/Hillsboro Deering), and Amy Dahl (Perrysville/Loudonville).
Ashley Bloom (Tiffin/Calvert), the incumbent goaltender, will accept the challenge of two incoming keepers, Sarah Hess (Pleasant Hill/Newton Local) and Annalee Kaplan (Hilliard/Hilliard-Darby).