Aug. 24, 2006
The eight-time Atlantic 10 Champion University of Dayton women's soccer team opens its 22nd season this weekend on the road with a match at the University of Toledo on Friday at 5:00 p.m. The Flyers are facing the Rockets for the first time in 10 years. UD leads the overall series 2-0.
UD went 2-0 in its preseason exhibition matches, beating Bowling Green 5-0 and Northwestern 5-1. Freshman forward Caitlin Proffitt lead the Flyers with three goals and one assist while all three UD goalkeepers (Reed, Chew,and Dittamore) allowed only one goal in a combined 180 minutes. A total of eight different players scored for the Dayton women in the exhibitions. Dayton is coming off a 10-7-3 season where they were knocked out in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship.
The Flyers return a young and talented core of players in Niki Reed, Kristen Persichini, and Stephanie Wurth. Reed, a 2005 first team all-Atlantic 10 pick returns in goal where she held a .84 goal against average one year ago. Sirmans, a 6' 1 defender, has a career 6 goals and 8 assists and poses a huge threat to opponents with her size and knowledge of the game. Wurth, a tough and physical defender returns to anchor the young defense which lost three starters from a year ago. All three were named to the A-10 Preseason All-Conference Team.
UD loses a lot both offensively and defensively--six starters are gone, including two-time Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year Reba Sedlacek who scored 36 goals and 19 assists tying her for fourth on UD's all-time scoring list in women's soccer. In the midfield, Katie Lowstuter departs having contributed 25 career assists with her crafty ball handling skills. Defensively, the Flyers lost a tough and physical player in Alicia Bredlo. Bredlo scored four career game-winning goals and was a strong presence in the air.
Following Friday's match, UD will head out West as they participate in the Puma Classic in Malibu, California on September 13. The Flyers will take on WCC perennial powers Pepperdine and San Diego during the weekend before heading back to Dayton for their home opener against the University of Michigan on September 8 at 2 p.m. at Baujan field.
SIX FLYERS NAMED TO ATLANTIC 10 PRESEASON TEAMS
Six UD women's soccer players were named to the 2006 Atlantic 10 Preseason Teams in voting conducted by the conference's head coaches. Junior F/D Courtney Sirmans (6g, 8a), sophomore midfielder Stephanie Wurth, and junior goalkeeper Niki Reed (.84 GAA) were named to the A-10 Preseason All-Conference Team. Incoming freshmen Mandy Bauml (F/MF), Tasha Dittamore (GK), and Emily Miller (MF/D) were named to the All-Rookie team.
HEAD COACH -Mike Tucker
Now in his 12th season at the helm, head coach Mike Tucker continues to climb the charts among the NCAA's winningest coaches. With a career winning percentage of .718 (164-62-8) entering 2006, Tucker ranks 14th on the NCAA's Division I active coaches list and 12th on the all-time list. His 164 wins make him tied for 34th among Division 1 active coaches and 38th on the all-time list. The Flyers have not had a losing season since Coach Tucker took over as head coach in 1995.
The Flyers' 2006 slate features four teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year -Bowling Green, California, Pepperdine, and Saint Louis. Three of those teams are ranked in Soccer Buzz's Preseason Top 30 (Pepperdine at No. 20, Saint Louis at No. 27, California at No. 30).
Atlantic 10 coaches have released their predictions for how the final standings of the 2006 women's soccer will turn out. The Flyer women have been selected to finish second behind defending A-10 champion Saint Louis.
GOIN BACK-BACK TO CALI-CALI
Flyers' freshman Colleen Gibson (Moreno Valley, CA) and sophomore Kim Sacher (San Diego, CA) who both came to UD from California will get a chance to return to the "Golden State" on September 1 as the team participates in the Pepperdine Puma Classic in Malibu, CA.
Baujan Field, which the Flyers have called home since 1984, has been quite an imposing place for visiting teams. UD has played 192 matches there all-time, compiling an impressive 139-42-11 (.753) record in that period. Dayton has never lost more than five times in one season (5-5-0 in 1996) and has been perfect at home three times (6-0-0 in 2001 and 8-0-0 in 1987 and 8-0-0 in 2004). UD won five times at home last season (5-3-1).
Since 2003, (64 matches), more than half (40) have been decided by one goal or less. The Flyers are 25-10-5 in those close-calls, despite going 6-6-3 last season. UD had won 12-straight (including both in the A-10 Championship) in 2004, before the 2-1 loss in overtime to Wisconsin in the NCAA First Round. Last season 15 of UD's 20 matches were decided by a goal or less.
A LITTLE BIT EXTRA
The Flyers were 0-0-3 in their overtime matches last season. UD went to double overtime in both matches at the Virginia Nike Soccer Classic and ended with a 1-1 draw to William & Mary and 2-2 deadlock with Virginia. UD also tied Richmond 0-0 in double OT. All time, UD is 21-12-12 in overtime matches, but an impressive 15-5-8 under Tucker. The loss to Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament First Round two years ago was UD's first overtime defeat since the 1999 season.
FOR HOME GAME TICKET INFORMATION
Contact the UD Ticket Office at 937-229-4433. Soccer prices are $5 (adults), $3 (children), and group rates are available. UD students are admitted free with ID.
The soccer game versus Michigan State University in East Lansing on August 27 has been dropped from the schedule. The team has however added a game vs. Northern Kentucky on September 12 at Town and Country park in Wilder, Ky. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.