School is back in session and the women’s soccer team is ready to pick up the pace.

Led by captains Marika Viragh, Hannah Peterson and Kelly Browne, the Lady Tigers started their season with a 3-1-3 record.

Because only two seniors graduated last year, there is a lot of familiar talent to see down on Stewart Field, including eight returning starters and 20 returning letter winners.

Among the top point producers are sophomore Kaeli Vandersluis, senior Brittney Lyman, and sophomore Jessie Ayers. Defensive key players include senior Kelly Browne, junior Sierra Keeler, and Kecia Morway, a junior transfer from Notre Dame.

Along with Jessie in the midfield, senior Hannah Peterson, and junior Madison Whitehead are key in dictating the play and setting the tempo of the game. Of the seven freshmen, goalkeeper Kate Scheele stands out having started the first five games of the season with an 80 percent save average.

“It has been very fun to meet and play with the new freshmen. They are an energetic and fun group and bring even more talent to our team,” said Peterson.

The team’s success over the next few months will be determined by how the girls work together with all of this new talent.

“The new personalities have been excellent additions to the team as we continue to challenge each other every day. The more we play as a collective unit, from goalkeeping to the front line, the more successful we are,” said Viragh.

This kind of confidence is exactly what the team needs and needs to maintain through their challenging schedule, which includes matches against Memphis University and the University of Central Florida.

“We have done a good job of holding one another to a standard and maintaining the mentality that we can never be satisfied,” said Viragh.

Their six-days-a-week training regimen includes morning workouts, lifting sessions, afternoon practices, team yoga and of course, games. It’s a long road to the Conference USA championship in El Paso, Texas at the end of October.

“We will create many opportunities for ourselves, and the more we take advantage of these opportunities the more successful we will be,” Viragh said about the training schedule.

The Lady Tigers will play the University of the Pacific today, Sept. 14 at 2:30 p.m., and Colgate University on Sunday, Sept. 16 at noon. Both games will be played on Stewart Field.

Katy Stetson

Guest Writer

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