Bearcats to Begin Women's Soccer Practice on Thursday

WU will Host Corban on Sept. 1

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

SALEM, ORE. -- It's almost time for the Willamette University women's soccer team to begin another season, so the Bearcats will be at Sparks Field for their first practice on Thursday, August 19, as they prepare for their 2010 schedule. The Bearcats will be led by Head Coach Hillary Arthur, now in her third season at WU. The team features a total of 12 returning players.

Included on the list of Willamette players with college experience is senior goalkeeper Kelli Gano (Portland, OR/Cleveland HS). Last year, Gano played in 19 of 20 games, including 17 starts. She achieved a solid 0.96 goals against average and earned a 5-5-2 record. She played 940 minutes in the nets, increasing her career total to 4,158 minutes.

The top returning scorer for the Bearcats is Stephanie Skelly (Jr., MF, Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS). Skelly led Willamette with six goals and 12 points last season. She played in all 20 games with 19 starts. She contributed three game-winning goals

Willamette ended the 2009 season with a 9-9-2 overall record. The 'Cats finished 8-7-1 in the Northwest Conference, good for third place among the league's nine teams.

WU is scheduled to open the regular season at home against nearby rival Corban University on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Kickoff at Sparks Field is set for 5 p.m. (PDT).

Kelli Gano enters her senior season with 23 career goalkeeping victories.

Kelli Gano enters her senior season with 23 career goalkeeping victories.