Women's Soccer Set to Open 2010 Season

WU Hosts Corban on Sept. 1 at 5 p.m.

By Sara Elcano, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women’s soccer team, under the direction of Head Coach Hillary Arthur (3rd season), is set to begin another season in the Northwest Conference. Willamette was picked third in the 2010 preseason poll of conference coaches after finishing in third place last season.

The Bearcats return twelve players from the 2009 squad that finished 9-9-2 overall and 8-7-1 in the NWC. Leading the way will be junior Stephanie Skelly (MF, Poulsbo, Wash./North Kitsap HS) and sophomore Andrea Rowan (MF, Boise, Idaho/Timberline HS).

Skelly was named First Team All-NWC after scoring six goals during her sophomore campaign. Three of her goals were game winning goals. Skelly is the only junior on the 2010 roster.

Sophomore Rowan burst onto the NWC scene last year, scoring three goals and earning two assists. She started in all 20 games and earned Second Team All-NWC honors.

Willamette also returns Alex Batzer (Sr., F, Medford, Ore./North Medford HS) and Ariel Wilson (So., MF, Fort Collins, Colo./Poudre HS). Batzer and Wilson each scored three goals apiece last season and will look to continue to make strong offensive contributions.

Two other seniors will be vital to the Bearcats’ success in 2010. Kelli Gano (Portland, Ore./Cleveland HS) returns for her fourth year in goal. Gano started in 17 games last season and combined with Jill Schneeman (studying abroad) to record seven shutouts.

Megan Moore (Sr., D, Tigard, Ore./Tigard HS) will anchor the WU defense. Moore started in all 20 games and played a total of 1,855 minutes, more than any other player on the team.

Willamette has 19 players on their roster, including twelve returners. The team will play four preseason games before opening their NWC schedule on Sept. 15 at Linfield College.

The Bearcats open the season on Sept. 1 at home against Corban University. Game time is set for 5 p.m. (PDT).

Stephanie Skelly scored six goals and was named First Team All-NWC in 2009.

Stephanie Skelly scored six goals and was named First Team All-NWC in 2009.