Law will lead NKU in 2006
Ky. - As he enters his 10th season as head coach of the women’s
soccer program at Northern Kentucky University, Bob Sheehan ranks
fifth all-time in winning percentage (.809) amongst NCAA Division
II head coaches.
He has taken
teams to the Final Four, guided his Norse to the national championship
game in 2000, won six Great Lakes Valley Conference titles and built
NKU into one of the country’s elite programs.
doesn’t know what to expect from his 2006 team. The GLVC coaches
tabbed NKU the overwhelming favorite in the preseason poll, but
Sheehan isn’t buying it.
starting defense has graduated from last year. We also graduated
an All-American striker (Kristen Votapek) from last year,”
Sheehan said. “One concern is our youth. We have two seniors,
four juniors - two of whom are transfers - four sophomores and 12
our younger players be able to acclimate themselves to the rigors
of travel? Will they understand that they have to be prepared to
play every game at a high level? Can they adjust to the time demands
of intercollegiate competition, and balance these time demands with
academics? Can they bring a high work ethic to practice and games
on a daily basis?”
Those are some
of the questions Sheehan hopes to find answers to early in the season.
But if Sheehan's history - which includes a 159-33-12 record in
nine years on the NKU sideline - is an indicator, the Norse will
be challenging for another trip to the NCAA Division II Tournament
by the time November rolls around.
NKU posted a
19-3 record last season and earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division
II Great Lakes Regional. The Norse also captured the GLVC regular-season
title and claimed the conference tournament championship.
back several standout offensive players, including All-GLVC performer
Amy Law. A year ago, Law scored 12 goals and added seven assists
en route to earning All-Region honors. Sheehan expects even more
from his senior leader in 2006.
for Amy Law to have a very productive senior season. She is definitely
in the mold of someone like Kendra Zinser, who played her role exceptionally
well for three years, and continued to grow and develop as a player,
and then absolutely blossomed into a great leader and a goal scorer
as a senior,” Sheehan said, comparing Law to NKU’s standout
scorer from three years ago.
not want to put any pressure on Amy, but she has the ability to
have a very special senior year.”
also returns for her senior season, and Sheehan had high praise
for the four-year letterwinner.
is a special young lady,” he said. “Her work ethic and
leadership skills are tremendous.”
Light (left) provides experience
to the NKU lineup is junior forward Jayme Light, who netted seven
goals last season. Light is a great finisher and one of the team’s
hardest workers. Junior midfielder Jeanna Goettelman is back after
scoring five goals and finishing with eight assists last season.
Goettelman earned second team All-GLVC accolades in 2005.
Schierloh, Lauren Franzen, Emily Haubner and Alex Armstrong also
return. Sheehan said all will benefit from their year of experience
and should be improved, though Armstrong – last year’s
GLVC Freshman of the Year after scoring 11 goals and adding seven
assists – has been battling an injury during the preseason.
returns after suffering a season-ending injury in the third game
last fall. A week earlier, Warndorf tied a school record by scoring
four goals in a 7-1 win over Concord (W. Va.).
a transfer from the University of Cincinnati, will make an impact
in the defense and in starting the attack. Freshman Hope Zinser
should impact the defense, Sheehan said. Katie Guinn is a technical
player in the defense and will contribute.
freshman Jenna Kramer will be the starting goalie. Freshman Brandi
Doss is expected to provide minutes at the midfield and forward
positions. Ashlee Jett has a strong work ethic and is a versatile
player. Jessica Gadd, a transfer from Rhode Island, is a technical
player who also can play any position.
Martini has good strength and will help in the defense and the midfield.
Other newcomers who will be provided an opportunity in the midfield
and the defense are Dana Fahlbusch, Meghan Moore and Lacey Luttjohann.
to the team will be how much leadership our returning players can
provide, and how quickly our newcomers can gain an understanding
of what it takes to consistently practice and compete at a high
level,” Sheehan said.
NKU is ranked
No. 11 nationally in the preseason NCAA Division II poll. The Norse
open the season against Concord (W. Va.) on Friday.
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