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Appalachian State University women's soccer opens the 2013 regular season on Friday against ETSU.
Courtesy: Appalachian State Athletics
Women's Soccer: Season Preview
Courtesy: Appalachian State Sports Information
Release: Thursday 08/22/2013 (ET)
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BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University women’s soccer is coming off its best year in school history, finishing with a 10-8-1 overall mark, the best season finish since 2007, and a 7-3-1 record within the Southern Conference, which was good for fourth place and marked the best conference finish since 1994. Appalachian State lost a tight 1-0 match in the opening round of the conference tournament to Elon to bring an end to an impressive season.

Head coach Sarah Strickland enters her fourth year at the helm of the Mountaineers and looks to take her team to the next level in its last year in the SoCon. She also brings back third-year assistant coach Lindsey Morgan and ninth-year assistant coach in charge of goalkeepers, Lindsay Cobb.

Appalachian was projected to finish fourth in the league in the annual SoCon preseason coaches' poll.

The 2013 Mountaineers carry four seniors, which includes junior Jordan Hatton, who will forgo her final year of eligibility, making this season her last. The senior class is highlighted by lockdown defender Amy Werdine, who returns to anchor the Mountaineer backline this season. Werdine has started all 53 games in which she has played and was a key cog in the defensive consistency in 2012.

The biggest class on the team is made up of juniors, with 11 on the 2013 squad, including Julia Holz who earned all-Southern Conference first team honors a season ago. Holz led the team with 18 points, which included a team leading eight goals, while also tallying two assists. Nicole Steyl will join Werdine yet again to form another solid foundation on the back line. Steyl has started 38 career games. Jenna Caudle will help lead the offensive attack from the forward position where she scored three goals and added two assists in only nine games played last season. Caudle was sidelined midway through the season with a knee injury, but is expected to be at full speed for the regular season.

Also expeced to be in the mix for significant playing time is a group comprised of nine sophomores. Headlining the sophomore class is Samantha Childress, who earned SoCon all-freshman team a year ago after scoring five goals on 33 shots, good for second on the team in both categories. Logan White joins the squad from Rutgers where she played 23 career games with 18 starts while returner Carrie Taylor is expected to help round out the starting defense for App State.

Megan Roberson is expected to be the top goalkeeper once again for the Apps after coming off a solid freshman campaign. Roberson finished last season with a 9-5-1 record while starting 14 matches. She added four shutouts against the likes of Belmont, Longwood, Georgia Southern and Davidson. Roberson also totaled 60 saves, good for ninth on the all-time single-season saves list.

The Mountaineers open the season with home games against ETSU and Austin Peay. They’ll then travel to Colorado Springs to compete in the Colorado College Invitational and will play Southern Utah and Colorado College. Both contests will mark the first meeting in program history against the Thunderbirds and Tigers. The team will play three non-conference games at home against UNC Asheville, on the road at High Point and back home against Morehead State prior to the start of SoCon play.

The Apps open their final season in the Southern Conference on the road at UNCG. They come home to face Elon, and then it’s back on the road for two games against Georgia Southern and Davidson. Appalachian returns home to play a four game stretch against Chattanooga, Samford, Wofford and the home finale against Furman. The squad will hit the road to finish off the season with conference foe The Citadel, its first-ever meeting with Francis Marion and will close out the regular season with longtime rival Western Carolina.


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