Women’s Soccer: Exhibition season to start Friday for WSU

Justin Boggs, Sports Editor

WSU midfielder Kalee Thompson is among a handful of upperclassmen expected to lead a young WSU squad this year.

WSU midfielder Kalee Thompson is among a handful of upperclassmen expected to lead a young WSU squad this year.

Wright State’s women’s soccer squad is set to kick-off the 2014 campaign Friday with an exhibition match against Northern Kentucky two days after a trio of Raiders were given Horizon League honors.

Senior defender Allie Metzler was named as the College Sports Madness Horizon League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Teammate and fellow Colorado Springs native Kalee Thompson was named a preseason first-team midfielder. Junior midfielder Ashley Gogolin earned preseason second team honors.

Metzler was also named as last year’s Horizon League’s Defensive Player of the Year.

The trio will be counted on to lead a young team that likely features multiple freshmen in the starting lineup.

“All three of them are good, solid players,” Wright State head coach Pat Ferguson said. “They have played a lot of minutes, they have started since they came aboard so they have a lot of experience. I think their influence is not just going to be what they do on the field, I think they are going to have equal influence off the field.”

The Raiders finished second in the Horizon League in 2013 but did so with a squad led by seniors Liz Soto, Emilie Fillion, and Brooke McCurdy. With those three gone, Ferguson will be forced to rely on some freshmen to help the team through the season.

“We have 12 freshmen in this year and it is a pretty talented freshmen class and some very good returners coming back,” Ferguson said. “I would expect us to be in the top three in the conference.”

Even with the talent the 12 new players will provide, it will be a challenge for Ferguson early in the season to get the players to play as one unit.

“I think we are going to resemble a bi-polar team in the first half of the season,” Ferguson said. “There are going to be times where our team does great things and turn around and do something that defies logic. That is just young kids making the transition to the Division I game.”

Following Friday’s exhibition, WSU travels to Evansville Sunday for the second of three preseason matches. The Raiders start their regular season against Louisville Aug. 22.

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