Aug. 26, 2004
"Young" and "Exciting" can best describe the 2004 Indiana women's soccer team. With just one senior, four juniors and 19 underclassmen on the squad, the 2004 season is sure to bring an air of optimism and excitement to Bloomington.
"We are a program that is still developing," said third year head coach Mick Lyon. "We are young, but all these women have great talent, and it is going to be exciting seeing these players continue to grow."
"We were in a desert when it came to scoring goals last year," said Lyon. "We have the speed and the talent to create scoring opportunities, but now we just need to finish and put the ball in the net, which we did not do a year ago."
Pipkens finished second on the team with four goals and 10 points and will look to improve on those numbers in her sophomore campaign.
"She needs to get on the scoreboard more," said Lyon. "She puts herself in great position but last year she rarely gave us the final product."
In particular, the Hoosier coaching staff is high on Radcliffe.
"She is going to score goals off free kicks, headers, second chances, she just has that kind of exciting ability," said Lyon. "You look for players that have a knack for scoring and that is what she brings to the field."
"Kim is some one who commands respect by just the way she plays "said Lyon. "She is a highly respected player, even by opponents, and when you have a young team, you want someone that everyone can look up to and say, `I want to be that person, I want to be as good as her."
Along with Grodek, junior Kristen Zmijewski, who moved from the forward position, and sophomore Ali Brown, will form a respectable trio in the middle. Zmijewski scored three goals last season with one assist, while Brown added two goals and three assists.
"That trio plays extremely well together and, most importantly, they all are comfortable playing with the ball at their feet making them very special players," said Lyon. "They are the `Iron Lung' of the team being very fit athletes who can run all day for us and cover a lot of space for us."
"There is no doubt we lost a lot on defense," said Lyon. "But I was very happy with the development of players in the spring and even though we lost a lot of age and experience, we have also gained a lot with the players that we have and the players that are going to come in."
Sophomores Lauren Dieter, Missy Vierling and Lauren Lamping received valuable playing time as freshmen and will be counted on to provide the backbone for the defense.
"As a coach, I do not look at a player's year, I am more interested in their talent," said Lyon. "Those three ladies have good size and strength and I think they will have some bumps along the road but they will help make up a very strong defensive trio."
Redshirt freshmen Jenna Babcock and Colleen Nietch and true freshman Beverly Markwort will also compete for playing time, with Markwort being a player the coach believes has a tremendous upside.
"I think she is going to have a great college career," said Lyon. "She wins tackles, she's quick to the ball and she understands how the game is played from the back, which will help her fit into our system quickly."
"She really developed last fall both physically and as a soccer player getting the time and experience," said Lyon. "She is quick, her first step to the ball is like lighting, and she combines that with great range on crosses and shots. That is a tremendous package to have."
Van Boxmeer saw action in 13 games with six starts, allowing just eight goals. Van Boxmeer continued her great play in the summer with the U-19 Canadian National team. She helped her country win the CONCACAF championship, a 2-1 win over the United States, where she was also named goalkeeper of the tournament.
"That is how much talent she has," said Lyon. "I expect the world from her."
Junior Lauren Fabbro and incoming freshman Megan Reinhardt will give IU depth at the goalkeeper position. Fabbro will push Van Boxmeer for the starting nod after her performance in the off-season. She was one of the main factors in the Hoosiers defeating North Carolina 1-0 in the spring.
"Fabbro has really worked on her game and her physical strength since last year," said Lyon. "Her mental approach to the game has also gone to the next level."