MORAGA, Calif. – Saint Mary’s head coach Kai Edwards recently took time away from training to preview the 2013 women’s soccer season. Today we look at the SMC defense and how it will look this season. Also, don’t forget to RSVP for the women’s soccer kickoff event on Saturday, August 17th!
Edwards on the defenders:
Our defensive crew this year is a very athletic and goal oriented group. They will do very well working together and challenging opponents in many ways. Attacking wise, they have the ability to get forward and be dangerous when getting forward. They have a desire to hate giving up goals and hate losing… they all have that mentality in the back.
This year we have two center backs returning who each started 19 games last season in Anne Whipple and Cassi Lynch. Both are very competitive and battle tested. They both played at a high level this summer and last spring. Two players we are leaning on with their experience, ability, talents, athleticism and great character and desire to learn and win games.
Jess Imbrie is a state Player of the Year out of Oregon. She’s the second one we’ve had in the last few years, always good to win that war in the northwest. Imbrie is a striker by trade, but has become one of our top backs in camp. Moving Melinda Madden up front created a void in the back and Imbrie has put herself in position to start with a couple other players. We are excited to watch her grow as a Gael.
Noria Mitchell played striker last year scoring a goal. We moved her to the back in the spring. She’s a very athletic ex-CIF state champion in the 200 and 400… she will help us in the games against the Pac-12 and the top-25 programs. She has made one of the biggest jumps from day one as a freshman to right now as a sophomore. We expect her to challenge to play and start every game.
Amanda Glass is a fifth-year senior and captain from California (UC Berkeley), a top-25 program. She will bring a lot of experience, talent and competitiveness. She’s in a crew with a similar mindset. She gels very well, complimenting the defense’s strengths and weaknesses.
We also have a lot of depth in the backline with Corin Hernandez, Cirenna Dao, Alex Schuster, Ashlyn Frizzelle, Hailey Mamizuka and Flannery Davis. A group that we expect to grow in our system and contribute.
Edwards on the goalkeepers:
We have four goalkeepers with the position wide open. Kaeli Schmidt and Nicole Schultz are emerging as the top two, but the other two have trained at a high level and put themselves in position to start and take the job at any point throughout the year. We have not set a starting goalkeeper as it will be competitive all year, with the job going to who can keep the ball out of the net. It’s exciting that the four of them will push each other to be better players.