Nov 21, 2019

Bruins’ Adaptability Proves to be Valuable in 2019 Season

A Winning Tradition

 
  • 1 NAIA Regional Tournament (1998)
  • 3 NAIA District Tournaments (1991, 1992, 1993)
  • 3 All-Americans 
  • 2 Academic All-Americans 
 

NEWBERG --- The women's soccer team concluded their 2019 campaign in early November; a season that saw various athletes step up into new leadership roles on the field after injuries sidelined much of the starting lineup.

The Bruins went on to post an overall record of 4-10-5 and 2-10-4 in Northwest Conference action to rank eighth in the NWC standings. Six of the final nine contests saw overtime, but, despite offensive setbacks, the Bruin defense was stellar from start to finish.

After a historic trip to Spain in August, the Bruins returned home and took part in a preseason that foreshadowed a strong and promising season ahead. The women had faced league-champion CF Damm, Athletic Bilbao, Añorga KKE—a professional team top of the 2nd Division—and Antiguoko KE during their training in Spain. Upon their return, the Bruins opened with a 2-2 tie with then No. 15 Hope (Mich.) before picking up a shutout victory over Calvin and wiping Multnomah 6-0.

On September 21, the women went face-to-face with a very physical Lewis & Clark squad in the first Northwest Conference matchup of the year. In those 90 minutes, the Bruins lost much of their starting squad due to severe injuries, including their entire midline. This contest led to a season that saw several different formations and opened the door for underclassmen to make an impact in a way that bodes well for the future of the program.

Sophomores Madison Burch and Maggee Hodgdon were instrumental in the attack, making an appearance in all 18 games. Burch's four goals led the team and included two game-winners against Pacific (Ore.) and Pacific Lutheran on the road. Hodgdon notched three of her own while tallying the fifth-most shots in the conference at 47. The transfer from Minnesota-Crookston scored the Bruin's first goal of the season and earned NWC Offensive Student-Athlete of the Week in early September.

Freshman Claire Wright also looked promising after scoring three goals and giving Fox its first victory of the season with her first-half goal against Calvin. Senior Bravo had a hand in four of the Bruins' goals this season, leading the team three assists and adding a goal of her own.

Playing and starting in 17 of the 18 games were senior Leanna Harris and sophomore Megan Harrington. Both scored a goal while Harrington dished out an assist. Sophomore Amy Hatter also stepped up, recording a goal and an assist, while senior Savannah Sexton helped steady the backline in their 16 starts.

Two of the unlucky athletes on the wrong end of the injury list were junior Abby Anderson and sophomore Katlyn Martinez, Fox's two starting midfielders. Anderson finished out her season with just six appearances while Martinez managed to score a goal and an assist in her nine appearances.

 

Sophomore Kara Ryker progressed throughout the season, starting in five games, including three of the four final contests, and tallying 21 shots. Junior Chloe Schumaker also scored in one of her seven starts on the season.

Second Team All-NWC selection Daria Brandt anchored a Bruin defense that also fell plague injuries this season. Brandt and Madison Huesers were the only two athletes to start in all 18 games on the year and were crucial parts of the defense that held opposing offenses to less than a goal per game on average. 

In goal, sophomore Brooke Jones and junior Annalisa Klein combined for a 94-save season effort that tied for third on the NWC stats leaderboard. The two produced six shutouts throughout the year, including two in the final week of competition.

Jones amassed 62 saves on her way to posting an NWC fifth-best save percentage (.886) and the fifth-lowest goals-against average (.67) in 1068 minutes. The sophomore earned NWC Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week back in mid-October. Klein tallied 31 saves in her 657 minutes played in the 2019 season. The team's most notable conference win of the season was their 3-1 road victory over Whitman in late September; a contest that saw a career-high 10 saves from Klein.

Head coach Corey Hand has stepped down after seven years at the helm of the women's soccer program, having coached 10 all-conference athletes and one Defensive Player of the Year. The Bruins will now look to the future as Hand pursues new opportunities and four solid seniors in Bravo, Harris, Huesers, and Sexton graduate.