UPLAND, Ind. – The Taylor women's soccer team will kick off its 2016 campaign at 7:00 pm Thursday, August 25, in Joliet, Illinois by taking on the Fighting Saints (1-0) of Saint Francis (IL).
With only two players graduating from last year's squad, Head Coach Scott Stan will have plenty of experience returning from last season's 8-8-3 team. TU will miss the presence of both seniors however, as Courtney Selle started all 19 games and netted two goals and Lauren Pfeifer was an all-league selection.
Among the experienced returners are team captains Shelbi Lowe, Brienna Kruit and Fayth Glock, who will look to lead Taylor to compete for the Crossroads League Championship. Lowe is a second-year captain, led the Trojans with six assists, and tied for the team lead with six goals a year ago. Kruit, a four-year starter, and Glock, a three-year starter, will anchor the defense. Junior Megan Kammer will look to continue her success from last year, where she was an all-league performer after scoring three goals and recording four assists. Another junior, Nikki Zaino, will look to provide significant offense after producing five goals and four assists in 2015. Savannah Porter also logged valuable minutes on defense as a freshman and will be looking to contribute significantly again as a sophomore in 2016.
Coach Stan will also be welcoming several newcomers, including eight incoming freshmen and one transfer. "This incoming group is really good and will make our team better," explained Stan.
A rigorous schedule will challenge the 2016 squad, with five games against teams receiving votes or ranked in the NAIA Top-25 Preseason Poll. After the season opener at Saint Francis (IL) on August 25, the Trojans will play three other road non-conference games against Roosevelt (August 27), Indiana Tech (September 9) and No. 14 Campbellsville (September 17). TU opens its home slate against non-conference foes with Concordia at 4:00 pm on September 2. Additionally, the Trojans have home non-conference games against (RV) Georgetown (September 3) and Lourdes (September 13).
In the Crossroads League, Taylor will play host to Mount Vernon Nazarene (September 27), (RV) Marian (October 8), Indiana Wesleyan (October 15) and Saint Francis (October 19). TU will travel to No. 11 Grace (September 24), No. 1 and defending NAIA national champion Spring Arbor (October 1), Bethel (October 5), Goshen (October 11) and Huntington (October 22).