DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College women's soccer team brings plenty of youth as they kick off the 2016 season. This will be Head Coach Jenny Vincent's third season at the helm as the Yellow Jackets look for continued improvement and development in the program.
DC comes off of a 2015 season that saw them go 3-15 overall and 2-7 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play. Defiance returns just three from that team and bring in 16 freshmen that will get plenty of playing time in the new season.
"The entire coaching staff is really excited to get the season started and has been since the end of the 2015 season," said Vincent. "This group will be the group that refines the team culture as we look into the future."
Offensively the Yellow Jackets return just one player in sophomore Lea McCoy (Akron/Rittman), who played in 12 games as a freshman and took one shot.
Defiance brings four freshmen into the mix at the forward position, including Miranda Herevia (Port Clinton), Lauren Mann (Roachdale, Ind./North Putnam), Matty Rollo (Pemberville/Eastwood), and Whitney Webb (Troy).
At the midfield spot, the Yellow Jackets return a two-year All-HCAC performer in junior Kassie Memmer (Bowling Green). Memmer, an honorable mention All-HCAC honoree, led the team with five goals scored, 37 shots taken, and 23 shots on goal in her sophomore campaign, including scoring two goals in DC's 2-1 victory over Bethany (W. Va) College.
The Yellow Jackets bring in five freshmen to battle for starting positions at midfield with the likes of Natalie Lasley (Defiance), Sarah Madaras (Kalamazoo, Mich./Parchment), Blake Newman (Jackson, Mich./Lumen Christi Catholic), Lauren Oglesbee (Kenton/Benjamin Logan), and Kat Wicher (Toledo/Whitmer) battling for playing time.
DC brings back one experienced defender in senior Katie Tillman (Miami, Fla./LaSalle). Tillman played in 17 of DC's 18 contests in 2015 and helped to solidify the team's defensive efforts.
Also looking to grab playing time in their first season will be Malia Ferry (Milford), Jordan Furko (Swanton), Lauren Perry (Northwood/Lake), and Katie Settich (Huber Heights/Chaminade Julienne).
The race for the starting net-minder is wide open entering 2016 as three newcomers battle for the spot. These three include Rylea Amspaugh (Nashport/Lakewood), Madi Bowman (Eaton), and Kiana Carpenter (Homesville/Triway).
Defiance kicks off the 2016 with the third annual Purple and Gold Classic at Winsper-Knobel Memorial Field. The Yellow Jackets will play host to Heidelberg University on Friday, Sept. 2 at 3 p.m., followed by a matchup with Spalding (Ky.) University on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 12 p.m. DC will open up HCAC play on Saturday, Oct. 1 with a trip to Indiana to face off with Franklin College.