#41 William and Mary Women's Soccer 2012 Preview

William and Mary Griffins
“The Tribe”

Overall Rank: #41
Conference Rank: #1 Colonial Athletic Association
William and Mary Women's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
William and Mary Team Page


The William and Mary women’s soccer team will return to the pitch in 2012 riding the momentum of a tremendous 2011 season. For the first time in eight years, the Tribe captured the CAA conference championship, granting them an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament—making their first national appearance in three years. Under the continued stewardship of Coach John Daly, and with the help of a host of returning category leaders, William and Mary stands to repeat those feats in 2012.

2011 Record: 17-3-3, 10-1-0
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: John Daly

The team sustained only three losses to their roster this year, so they are returning primarily intact. Leading the squad in her senior year will be offensive powerhouse Mallory Schaffer (M). Scoring 17 of the team’s 53 total goals, including all three CAA tournament goals, last season Schaffer was named first-team NSCAA All-American, second-team Soccer America MVPs, the CAA player of the year, the CAA Women's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and was ranked 11th in goals and 16th in points on the national level, among other accolades. Joining her offensively will be a trio of returning forwards: Dani Rutter (junior), Emory Camper (sophomore), and Cortlyn Bristol (senior), each of whom chipped in with 7 goals apiece last year.

On the defensive front, William and Mary retained three of its four starting defensive backs: Emily Fredrickson (sophomore), Ali Heck (junior), and Tara Connors (junior). Connors was named CAA tournament most outstanding player for her role in the conference championship last November. The Tribe should also expect another strong performance from senior goalkeeper Katherine Yount, who started in all 23 games last season and recorded 10 shutouts; she is also ranked fourth all-time at the college for career goals against average (0.86).

Coach Daly has a challenge ahead of him in replacing Diana Weigel, the lynchpin of William and Mary’s back line. Weigel was a first-team all-region, first-team all-CAA player in her senior year, and generated quite a bit of offense for the team in addition to excelling in her defensive role: she scored three goals (including the lone goal in their loss to the University of North Carolina in the NCAA first round) and tallied six assists on the year. Daly will look to one of the returning defensive backs or one of the incoming freshmen to fill the void left by Weigel.

Final Projection:
If Shaffer continues to hit the back of the net as she has this past season, and the defensive line is able to successfully incorporate a new face to the starting four, William and Mary should expect to make a run for the CAA title again this year—and possibly progress beyond the first round in the NCAA tournament. A strong recruiting class of eight should add depth to an already impressive roster of experienced players.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Mallory Schaffer, Senior, M, 17
Assists: Dani Rutter, Junior, M/F, 11
Shots: Mallory Schaffer, Senior, M, 57
Saves: Katherine Yount, Senior, GK, 79

Madness 2012 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#37 Caroline Casey
#72 Barbara Platenberg