#42 Colorado College Women's Soccer 2013 Preview

Colorado College

Overall Rank: #42
Conference Rank: #1 Conference USA
#42 Colorado College Women's Soccer 2013 Preview
Colorado College Team Page


The Colorado College Tigers bring a dynamic balance of youth and experience into 2013. The Tigers look to return to the NCAA Tournament and are the favorites to win Conference USA in 2013. Veteran Head Coach Geoff Bennett has elevated the Colorado College program back to its national caliber status that it had back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Bennett received a long-term contract extension through 2018 to ensure the necessary stability for Colorado College to compete with the best programs in women’s college soccer.

2012 Record: 14-4-5, 8-2-1
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Geoff Bennett

The balanced offensive attack was a huge asset for the Tigers last season. Thirteen different players found the back of the net offensively. The key returning leaders include junior midfielder Jessie Ayers, who earned second-team all-American honors, scored seven goals and is the most dynamic playmaker. Senior Madison Whitehead and junior Kaeli Vandersluis also return to anchor one of the more potent midfield lines in all of women’s college soccer. The other big strength for this Colorado College program is the experience of the six returning starters and 19 veterans overall that have been through the grind of winning a conference championship. This experience gained form 2012 will be a huge benefit heading into an even more challenging 2013 schedule.

Katie Scheele, who played in 12 matches last season, will start at goalkeeper. It will be huge if Scheele can take control of the position and stay the number one goalie all season long. Defensively, the amount of goals given up was very solid at just 0.87 goals per match. The key for the Tigers to take another step forward on the national landscape is to cut down the amount of shots per game that they allow in 2013. In 2012, opponents averaged just over 11 shots per match. The differential overall was about four shots per game as the Tigers attack got off about 15 shots per match. If the Tigers can spread that differential from four to about eight to ten, it will take the pressure off of the team offensively and give them the ability to win matches 2-1 or 3-2 instead of having to play a 1-0 type of match.

Final Projection:  
As the reigning co-champions of Conference USA, the Tigers will not be able to sneak up on anyone in 2013. Colorado College will be the championship game, so to speak, on everyone’s schedule when they hit conference play. This, combined with some longer road trips due to the geographic nature of the new Conference USA, will create an interesting dynamic. The non-conference schedule with Denver, Texas, and Marquette will give the Tigers plenty of opportunities to build their RPI to position themselves for the NCAA tournament. If Ayers has a big year out of the midfield and vaults her goal total into double-figures, the Tigers should once again be in the NCAA Tournament in 2013.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Jessie Ayers, Junior, Midfield, 7
Assists: Jessie Ayers, Junior, Midfield, 4
Shots: Jessie Ayers, Junior, Midfield, 69
Saves: Katie Scheele, sophomore, Goalkeeper, 49


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