#39 Milwaukee Women's Soccer 2012 Preview

Milwaukee Panthers

Overall Rank: #39
Conference Rank: #1 Horizon
Milwaukee Women's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Milwaukee Team Page


Milwaukee had an amazing 2011 season, tallying a 19-3 record. They knocked off Illinois State in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Ohio State 2-1 in the second round. It was certainly a memorable season for first year head coach Greg Henschel. He should have this program ready to continue building off of their recent success. However, there is a lot of turnover this year, but the Panthers should be able to reload instead of rebuild.

2011 Record: 19-3, 8-0
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Greg Henschel

There are questions up front, but the Panthers have a ton of returning talent on defense. It starts with keeper Jamie Forbes. The senior tallied 11 shutouts in 21 games and has a ton of experience. At 5-11, Forbes is an intimidating goalie and she will use that to her advantage. The starting line in front of her will make it so Forbes will not have to work too hard. Emily Scott had a great freshman campaign and will again anchor the middle of the defense. Amy Kauffung is another sophomore who is a versatile defender. She will spend some time in the midfield, but the reigning Horizon League Newcomer of the Year plays great defense no matter where she is positioned. The loss of four year starter Mary Wandolowski does leave a gap in the defense, but Coach Henschel will have plenty of options.

How does one replace Sarah Hagen? She was a four-time All-American. She was the Horizon League Player of the Year three times. Her 93 goals and 212 points are school and conference records. During her senior campaign she scored 26 goals, which ranked second in the nation only to Penn State’s Maya Hayes. She also dished out nine assists. As if replacing Hagen was not impossible enough, fellow forward Laurel Ragalie and midfielder Keara Thompson have also graduated. Ragalie scored six goals in 2011 and Thompson has been a mainstay in the Panthers midfield for the last four years. Thompson was the playmaker on the team, setting up 12 goals and finishing six herself. So who are going to be the scorers now? Kelly Lewers, a 5-8 sophomore, is a good place to start. She started ten games last season and even in limited playing time proved to be a relatively efficient scorer. Junior Krissy Dorre has a little more experience and, at this point in her collegiate career, is more versatile and can help set up Lewers. But it will not take long for Milwaukee to really miss Hagen.

Final Projection:
Finding scorers up front is imperative, but the Panthers do have some playmakers in the midfield that can make a big difference. Helen Steinhauser is the senior leader and could emerge into this year’s version of Thompson. Sophomore Kelsey Holbert is also an interesting player who can score and create. If the midfield can live up to their potential, the Panthers will have a much, much easier time replacing Hagen and Ragalie up front. This is not a group that will likely rank sixth in the nation in scoring offense again this year, but the defense could be better. For a team that only allowed 15 goals in 22 games, that should scare the rest of the Horizon League.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Kelsey Holbert, Sophomore, M, 4; Kelly Lewers, Sophomore, F, 4; Helen Steinhauser, Senior, M, 4
Assists: Helen Steinhauser, Senior, M, 5
Shots: Kelsey Holbert, Sophomore, M, 40
Saves: Jamie Forbes, Senior, GK, 79