Tue, Aug. 14, 2012
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Lindsborg News Record
Coming off a 3-12-1 overall record in 2011, and a ninth place finish in the Kansas Athletic Collegiate Conference (KCAC), the Bethany College women's soccer team is using a solid group of returners to help kick-start their new squad.
"We have set the foundation, and now it is time to build upon that foundation to take Bethany women's soccer back to what it used to be – champions," said head coach Sean McMannis, who enters his second year with the Swedes.
With 12 returning letter winners and nine starters, Bethany's squad features several familiar impact players: senior defender and captain Tatiana Garay from Las Vegas, Nev.; senior midfielder and captain Amanda VanLoenen from Flower Mound, Texas; sophomore midfielder/forward Shelby Ward of Arvada, Colo.; and junior midfielder Riley Council of Las Vegas, Nev.
"(The returners are) a group of girls that re-committed themselves to the game, to the school, and to each other," McMannis said. "Many seniors are ready to put a lasting imprint on this program, and take it to the next level. We have leadership all over the board, and it will be fun to see how they handle the pressure, and adapt the new players."
Top newcomers include junior midfielder Tessa Kuhlengal of Lake Dallas, Texas; freshman defender/midfielder Christina Noonan from San Diego, Calif.; and freshman midfielder Arianna Anaya of West Covina, Calif.
Picked to finish seventh in the KCAC preseason coaches poll, the Swedes are eager to make big strides and remember their team motto: stability is mediocrity.
"This year will be completely different than last year," said McMannis. "Last year with a new coach and a new philosophy, it took many months to transition into what we wanted. This year, we have the energy and drive to start moving forward. We have many games against nationally ranked teams, and it will challenge them each and every day to come out and perform. But with the new additions, and the returners, it will be a great and exciting year."
Bethany opens their 2012 season with a scrimmage at Fort Hays State University on Friday, August 24 at 5 p.m. The Swedes' first official competition is Tuesday, April 28 at 5 p.m. as they host Manhattan Christian College.