By: Allison Lowe, assistant sports information director
COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Capital University Women's Soccer team is just under a week away from their first regular season game against Olivet College. Coming off a strong 2018-19 season, making it to the OAC tournament semifinals, the Crusaders look to earn an OAC championship title since 2015.
The Crusaders enter this season with a strong foundation, behind five seniors returning for their final season. Included in that senior class are defenders, Alyssa Kimbler and Maggie Peddicord, both named First Team All-OAC last year, as well as forward, Jordan Fike. Junior defender, Bridget Mallin and goalkeeper, Kelly Bachmann return this season, earning All-OAC honorable mention accolades last season. Not only is the team returning key players, but is welcoming some new talent.
Head Coach (Matt Ogden)
"We have a strong senior class with lots of experience carrying them into their final season. Maggie Peddicord and Ally Kimbler both have massive roles in our defensive set up, and Jordan Fike and Carlee Murry can affect our front line in a positive way. We have added three transfers since last fall. Gabbi Viggiano (Kent State), Cassidy Ryan (Georgia State), and Emily Mathias (Marshall) have all come in and raised the level in everything we do. In our freshman class, we have added impact players and I expect many of them to make their mark on the program in year one." - Matt Ogden
- 9 Freshman
- 10 Sophomores
- 5 Juniors
- 5 Seniors
- 2 Goalkeepers
- 8 Defenders
- 12 Midfielders
- 7 Forwards
- GK - Lauren White (Dublin, Ohio)
- MF - Lauren Bowe (Springboro, Ohio)
- MF - Madeline Woodruff (Hilliard, Ohio)
- F - Avery Hart (Pickerington, Ohio)
- F - Aaliyah Brletic (Hilliard, Ohio)
- MF - Gabby Huster (West Chester, Ohio)
- D - Mia Gambaccini (Wadsworth, Ohio)
- D - Samantha Poptic (Dublin, Ohio)
- D - Lindsay Schmitt (Pickerington, Ohio)
The team welcomed back several impact players this year. Last year's leading goal scorers, Jordan Fike (senior) and Carlee Murray (senior) have returned and will play up top. Jayde Hoffman (junior) and Sydney Dion (junior) will secure the middle for the Crusaders. Defenders, Maggie Peddicord (senior), Alyssa Kimbler (senior), and Bridget Mallin (junior) will hold down the fort in the back. The team will also see last year's starting goal keeper, Kelly Bachmann (senior) back in net.
2019-20 Captains (Maggie Peddicord & Carlee Murray)
The Crusaders have named seniors Carlee Murray and Maggie Peddicord as their 2019-20 captains. Even with this new leadership, Head Coach Matt Ogden stresses that "leaders aren't just the captains. Leaders come in many forms and at different times. I expect to see all the players display leadership qualities throughout the course of the season. Our seniors know this is there last go-around. They have had three years to piece together the parts of the program and now sharing all they have learned with the underclassman will be invaluable as we navigate the season."
Capital will play a total of 19 games this season, nine at home, eight on the road, and two at neutral sites. Four opposing teams advanced to the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Tournament in 2018 including Wheaton College, Hope College, and Adrian College.
This season's schedule "is tough, and it's tough by design," says Ogden. "We want games that challenge us, force us to grow and keep us grounded if need be. We're an ambitious program who gain nothing by playing opponents who don't do that to us. I'm looking forward to the second weekend matchups versus Hope and Wheaton. Both are top-20 nationally so we will see quickly where we stand in the big picture. Obviously looking to the conference, we have some great matchups. Ohio Northern and Otterbein are games were looking forward to, but the league, in general, is strong. Each of our matchups will bring its own unique set of problems we will need to solve in order to advance."
The Crusaders finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 13-6 (6-3 OAC). This was the team's most overall wins since 2015. The recent release of the OAC preseason coaches' poll placed the Crusaders in the number three spot, behind preseason favorite, Ohio Northern University and last year's OAC Tournament champion, Otterbein University.
Coach Ogden revealed how the improvement heading into this season "will be seen in our players maturity and level of play in general. Training so far has been on another level to previous years. That's due to the quality of player and depth of our squad. We have added new elements to the team that will allow us to be flexible in our style of play as well as our ability to change the course in games as well if needed."
Kelly Bachmann (Goalkeeper)
Given the strong foundation of experience on the team and the addition of new talent, it is Ogden's hope that the Crusaders will continue the momentum from last season and further their successes. The team will host their first game of the season on Sept. 1 against Olivet at Bernlohr Stadium.
- Tim Janz
- Spencer Dilyard
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