The East Central University soccer team will open the 2013 season with two games in Colorado. The Lady Tigers will first face Colorado State Pueblo, Friday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. (CST) at Rawling Soccer Complex in Pueblo, Colo. ECU will stay in Pueblo to battle with Colorado Springs, Sunday, Sept. 8 at 1:30 p.m. (CST).
Fans who can’t be at the game can find links to live stats and live video (if available) on ECUTigers.com. Go to the soccer schedule page.
Scouting Colorado State Pueblo
The Thunder Wolves will open their 2013 season against the Lady Tigers. Pueblo was 2-13-2 overall and 2-11-1 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 2012, with their two wins coming at home.
The Thunder Wolves scored 14 goals in 17 games, with seven of those goals coming in their two wins. Pueblo average a 2.10 goals against average.
The Thunder Wolves return their top three scorers and their top goal keeper from a season ago. Alicia Irwin, Abigail Chris and Amanda Jorgensen all tallied three goals. Irwin garnered 36 shots (13 on goal), while Jorgensen added 30 shots (16 on goal). Savannah Thompson is the returning net minder that started in all 17 matches. She allowed 33 goals, had a 1.97 goals against average and .810 save percentage.
The meeting with Pueblo is the second in team history. The Lady Tigers suffered a 1-2 loss in the first meeting, Oct. 1, 2006 in Weatherford, Okla.
Scouting Colorado Springs
The Mountain Lions will open their season with a match against Concordia-St. Paul in Pueblo, Colo., Sept. 6. In 2012, CSU was 13-4-2 overall and 9-3-2 in the RMAC.
The Mountain Lions return 8-of-11 starters and 16-of-21 players from a season ago, including their top for point producers and starting goal keeper.
Agnes Arnadottir led the team with nine goals and seven assists. Hannah Levett added eight goals and seven assists on 23 shots on goal, while Hannah Rather tallied four goals and three assists. Brooke Tominello rounds out the group of four with three goals and four assits.
Kelly Schroder started all 19 games for CSU in net in 2012. She allowed 16 goals and had a 0.83 goals against average. Schroder tallied a .867 save percentage and earned eight shutouts.
The meeting with the Mountain Lions is the first is ECU history. CSU is one of two teams that the Lady Tigers will battle with for the first time in 2013, with Missouri Southern State being the other.
Lady Tigers Picked Fourth
After finishing third in the Great American Conference standings in 2012, the ECU soccer team has been picked to finish fourth in the 2013 GAC Preseason Poll, as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
The Lady Tigers earned 13 points, with 2012 champion Southwestern earning first (25 points/five first-place votes), Southern Nazarene second (19 points), Ouachita Baptist third (17 points/1 first-place vote), Harding fifth (11 points) and Northwestern sixth (five points).
In 2012 ECU struggled with key injuries, especially after losing both goalies for a large portion of the season. However, the Lady Tigers will return six of 11 starters, including three All-GAC picks from a year ago.
Ashley Bradford will return for her senior season after earning All-GAC First Team and NSCAA All-Region Third Team honors as a junior. Juniors Margaret Glutz and Katie Glutz are also all-conference selections from 2012, with Margaret earning first team honors and Katie claiming second team accolades.
Also returning from the starting line-up are senior Stephanie Flores and junior Jessica Stibbens. Other key returners include Susana, Galvez, Taylor Graves, Katelyn Harper, Kourtney Holleman, Krista Kahl, Taylor Kennedy, Laiken Knight and Hunter Malcom.
Heavy Home Schedule Early
This season those wishing to see the Lady Tigers in action at home will have to come to Lady Tiger Field early, as the season is lopsided on home and away matches. ECU will play all of its eight home matches by Oct. 13, with the first home contest scheduled for Sept. 10 against Northeastern State at 4 p.m. The Lady Tigers will play their final home matches Oct. 11 (Harding) and Oct. 13 (Ouachita Baptist) before finishing the season with six straight road matches.
The Lady Tigers will return home for two matches next week at Lady Tiger Field. ECU will first host Northeastern State, Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 4 p.m. and then Missouri Southern State, Sunday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.