Willamette Women's Soccer to Host Oregon Tech on Friday

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's soccer team will open its 2008 schedule on Friday, Aug. 29 with a home match against the Oregon Institute of Technology. Game time at Sparks Field is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Willamette has 15 returning players and eight returning starters. A year ago, the Bearcats featured a young team -- no seniors -- yet finished the season only one game below .500 at 8-9-2, including a 7-7-2 record (5th place) in the Northwest Conference. WU was 4-1 in the final five games of the year.

Heading WU's list of returning players is senior forward Lauren Miller (Portland, OR/Grant HS/Northwestern State, La.), who topped the team's offensive chart in 2007. She scored 11 goals and earned two assists for 24 total points. She placed 33 of 67 shots on target and registered two game-winning goals. She started every game and led the Bearcats with 1,731 minutes played.

Kelsey Rogel (Sr., Tacoma, WA/Bellarmine Prep), a defender who moved to forward last season, also returns. She tallied three goals and five assists in 2007. She has been named First Team All-NWC once (2006) and Second Team All-NWC twice (2005 and 2007). She returns to defense this season, where she will lead WU's back line.

Goalkeeper Kelli Gano (So., Portland, OR/Cleveland HS), who started 13 of 19 games as a freshman last year, is back in the nets for the 'Cats this season. Gano earned a stellar 0.89 goals against average in 2007. She registered 94 saves and achieved a 6-7-2 record. She finished the year with six solo shutouts and one combined shutout.

Head Coach Hillary Arthur is in her first year at Willamette. She was the head coach at Western Nevada College at the junior college level the past three seasons. In 2006, she led WNC to the Region 18 championship and a berth in the NJCAA Tournament. Last year, she guided the team to second place in the Scenic West Conference.

Lauren Miller scored 11 goals for the Bearcats in 2007.

Lauren Miller scored 11 goals for the Bearcats in 2007.