Eight consecutive winning seasons is something most consider glorious, but Slippery Rock women’s soccer is aiming their sights higher.
After finishing in third place in last year’s PSAC-West standings, the Green and White were ranked second for their conference in the preseason coaches’ poll. They finished last season in third place with a record of seven wins, four losses and eight draws.
Head coach Jessica Giegucz returns for her ninth year with the team as she hopes to extend her already impressive streak of winning seasons.
Giegucz coached an impressive defensive unit in 2022 that allowed only 13 goals. This is in part to previous starting goalkeeper, Emma Yoder. Yoder will be tough to replace; however, with plenty of returning and new talent, the future remains bright.
Notable players returning to the team include forwards Ashley Rea, Morgan Sarver and Sydney Patrick. Faith Diffenbacher and Brooke Riefenstahl return to The Rock as impact members of the defensive group.
Rea enters the season as a graduate student after an impressive previous campaign where she netted four goals and an assist for the squad. She collected just over 1,600 minutes of playing time for the year.
Rea is joined by sophomore Morgan Sarver. She collected three goals and three assists for The Rock in the 2022 campaign in just over 1,000 minutes played.
Rounding out the impressive group of returning forwards is senior Sydney Patrick. Patrick tallied a goal and four assists in 1,400 minutes played for the team during 2022.
Junior Faith Diffenbacher provides a scoring presence from the back as she posted two goals and an assist in the previous season. She’ll look to replicate a hard-nosed effort where she accumulated over 1,700 minutes of playing time.
Diffenbacher is not the only defensive scoring presence returning to the team as she is followed by senior Brooke Riefenstahl. She too was able to tally two goals, one assist and over 1,700 minutes of playing time in 2022.
Two transfers and nine freshmen are new to the roster as they aim to make their mark alongside the established upperclassmen.
The Green and White got off to a good start this past Thursday when they cruised to a 6-1 victory over Davis & Elkins College. They look to continue their success at Fairmont State University this Sunday.