#22 Nebraska Women's Soccer 2014 Preview

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Overall Rank: #22
#3 Big Ten
#22 Nebraska Women's Soccer 2014 Preview
Nebraska Team Page


In 2013 Nebraska went 19-4-1 overall 10-1-0 in the Big Ten. They won a Big Ten title and the conference tournament. Heading into the NCAA Tournament, the Cornhuskers won nine games in a row and earned a #2 seed. But following a first round win over Southeastern Louisiana, Nebraska fell 4-1 to Boston College. The expectations this year are not nearly as  high, but this is still an NCAA Tournament team.

2013 Record: 19-4-1, 10-1-0
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: John Walker

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Jaycie Johnson, Sophomore, F, 17
Assists: Hannah Dittmar, Senior, M, 4; Katie Kraeutner, Junior, F, 4
Shots: Jaycie Johnson, Sophomore, F, 77
Saves: Kelly Schatz, Sophomore, GK, 4

Other Key Returnees: F Mayme Conroy, M Sydney Niramontez, M Caroline Gray, D Samantha Areman, D Jaylyn Odermann

Key Losses: F Jordan Jackson, M Stacy Bartels, D Kylie Greischar, D Ari Romero, D Maritza Hayes, GK Emma Stevens

The Huskers offense last season was built around Jaycie Johnson, Mayme Conroy and Jordan Jackson. Jackson is gone after easily leading the team with 12 assists. She also added nine goals. But the goal scoring should not drop off with Johnson and Conroy leading the way. Johnson scored 17 goals as a freshman and quickly turned into reliable target up front. Conroy, now a senior, added 11 goals of her own. Those two may not combine to score 28 goals again, but having two proven goal scorers is nice. The problem may be setting them up without Jackson. Katie Kraeutner, who is a quality scorer in her own right, tallied four assists and five goals in 2013. Other midfielders like Sydney Miramontez, Caroline Gray and incoming freshman Haley Hanson can help out in the attack too.

The bigger reason Nebraska will not be as good as last season is the defense. This was the second best defense in the Big Ten and they rarely gave up an early goal. In fact, the opposition scored just eight goals against the Huskers in the first half through all of last season. All-Big Ten honoree Ari Romero is gone, as is fellow defender Martiza Hayes and keeper Emma Stevens. The back line will now be led by returning starters Samantha Areman and Jaylyn Odermann. Senior Jourden Casey has some starting experience from back in 2012, but the rest of the defense is full of freshmen. There is even less experience between the posts. Sophomore Kelly Schatz saw a little bit of real action as a freshman, totaling about 52 minutes of play and making four saves. Coach John Walker’s other options are redshirt freshman Helena Ferraz and true freshman Erika Johnson.

Final Projection:
This is a pretty young team. There are only seven upperclassmen on the roster, but they are not greatly lacking experience either so youth should not be a major problem. It should be interesting to see how important the losses of Jackson, Romero and Stevens turn out to be and if they are not replaced effectively, Nebraska will take a bit of a slide down the Big Ten pecking order. They should still be able to reach the postseason on the shoulders of Johnson and Conroy.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 2.25 (21st in nation, 3rd in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 1.051 (95, 2)
Shutout Percentage: 0.333 (125, 4)
Save Percentage:  0.794 (126, 4)

Madness 2014 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#29 Haley Hanson


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