Enjoying one of the most prosperous four-year periods in Wesleyan women's soccer history, the Cardinals will be looking to expand the series to a fifth season as the 2012 campaign is set to start Sat., Sept. 8 with a trip to NESCAC foe Bowdoin. Wesleyan posted its finest record since 1994 during the 2011 campaign with a final mark of 9-6-1 and reached the NESCAC tournament semi-finals for the first time after winning a shootout vs. Tufts, 5-3. After failing to qualify for the NESCAC playoffs during the opening eight years (2000-07) of NESCAC tournament play and winning just eight NESCAC games, the Cardinals have made the playoffs each of the last four seasons and posted a 15-17-5 NESCAC record over the span. Overall, Wesleyan has a cumulative 29-23-7 record from 2008-2011.
Quad-captains Laura Kurash '13 (#8, photo upper left), Hannah Knudsen '14 (#6, photo lower left), Mikaela Curtin '13 (#21, photo upper right) and Jen Brewer '13 (#4, photo lower left) will be leading the veteran Cardinal squad that boasts 15 returning letterwinners and eight starters back from a year ago. Kurash has been a NESCAC honoree each of her three seasons, receiving NESCAC Rookie of the Year and second-team all-NESCAC laurels in 2009, and first-team all-NESCAC in both 2010 and 2011. She also was an all-New England choice a year ago by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as well as a District II CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-American. She netted more than half of the team's goals with 13 tallies along with four assists for 30 scoring points. Six of her 13 goals were game-winners. Over her three years, Kurash has racked up 28 goals and 10 assists for 66 points. Knudsen started all 16 games in 2011 on defense while Curtin played every game with 13 starts and ranked third in scoring with two goals and two assists. Brewer, a steady force on defense in 2009 and 2010, played just three games in 2011 due to injury. She will be a welcome addition for 2012.
Other returning starters for the Cardinals include #2 scorer Kerry Doyle '14, who picked up five goals and seven assists in 2011 as a forward ; Hannah Stone '15, who had a goal and an assist from her spot on defense ; middie Clare Ashforth '15 ; defender Brynn Hansson '15 ; and goalie Jess Tollman '15, whose career-best 17-save effort at Tufts in the NESCAC playoffs kept it a 1-1 game through overtime. Tollman had a 1.30 GAA and a .837 save percentage with three shutouts while starting 15 of 16 games in 2011.
Of the remaining six letterwinners back, three started at least one game with Kaylin Berger '13 pacing the group as she played in 15 contests with a goal and an assist to her credit. Maddy Chabot '15 and Katy Hardt '15 were consistent contributors as well. Also back are Michele Drossner '14, Katie O'Brien '15 and Hannah Jellinek '15. Six newcomers will join the ranks in 2012 with several expected to make key contributions from the get-go.