After a successful 13-6-1 record last season and a run in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) playoffs, the Slippery Rock University women’s soccer team is looking to continue their winning ways in 2016. The women are ranked third in the PSAC pre-season rankings behind no. 2 East Stroudsburg University and no.1 West Chester University.
“We got big plans for East Stroudsburg and West Chester,” Rock head coach Jessica Griggs said. “Third place is a solid place for our team. The PSAC is a tough conference but do not count us out against teams like East Stroudsburg and West Chester.”
The Rock will begin the season under the leadership of six returning seniors including All-American forward, Dara Demich. Griggs said Demich, who led the team with 27 points and 12 goals in 2015, will undoubtedly be a key to SRU’s success this season.
“Dara is definitely a leader for sure but I consider and expect all my seniors to be leaders. I do not want to put the title of leader on one person,” Griggs said.
Seniors Lynn Neef and Sam Thornton both lead a strong defense for The Rock in 2015. Neef and Thornton both earned an All-PSAC selection last year and hope to help The Rock in their quest to win the PSAC championship.
Sophomore Charlotte Elrod figures to be the starting goalie for the Green and White. Elrod boasted an .800 save percentage as a freshman with eight shutouts, which proved to be second best in the PSAC behind Bloomsburg’s Devon Haviland.
Along with a talented and hardworking group of upperclassmen, Griggs also brought in a talented freshmen class. These seven players will join a strong program with eyes for the PSAC championship.
“Our team’s group of freshmen proves to be very talented and will help us stay competitive in coming years. I expect all of our freshmen to get a significant amount of playing time this year”, Griggs said.
The future looks bright for the women as they look to complete their 21st consecutive winning season. When asked about this winning season streak, Griggs said “There are way too many factors that could determine the outcome of this season. I do not like to think way ahead like that. My only concern right now is winning our first game.”
The Rock will hope to open up the 2016 season with a win as they are preparing for a non-conference matchup against Notre Dame College this Thursday at 5 p.m at James Egli Field in Slippery Rock.