Aug. 29, 2007
Turning to a potent mix of veteran returnees and a large class of incoming freshmen, the 2007 Wolverines look to make their 10th trip to the NCAA Tournament in 11 years. Graduate-senior Lindsey Cottrell, a 2006 All-Big Ten second-team member, and senior Sarah Banco return to captain the Wolverines for the second-straight season. Senior Melissa Dobbyn will continue lead the offense offense, carrying 25 career goals into the 2007 campaign.
Nine new players will find their way to Ann Arbor for the 2007 season. Brittany Boeckel, Amanda Bowery, Jackie Carron, Stephanie Crawford, Lyndsay DeCarolis, Jill Ferree, Allison Herbert, Kristen Keane, Sarah Morgan and Caroline Zambricki make up the latest group to don the block `M'. The incoming class was tabbed No. 4 in the Great Lakes Region and third-best in the Big Ten Conference.
Head Coach Debbie Rademacher begins her 14th season at the helm of the U-M women's soccer program. The lone head coach in program history, she has posted a 157-99-31 record in 13 seasons at Michigan, including a 63-40-16 record in Big Ten play with two Big Ten Championships. Assistant Coach Dan Dalzochio, entering his sixth season, will be joined by former Wolverine standout Abby Crumpton on Rademacher's staff.
Dobbyn, coming off a record-setting season in which she took 90 shots, will have a new partner up front with the graduation of last season's top scorer, Judy Coffman. Junior Katie Miler burst onto the varsity scene after a season with the U-M club team. With a year of experience, she can be a clutch scorer, having netted a team-high three game-winning goals in 2006. Banco will be called upon to be a leader of the Wolverine offense and has the experience to fill Coffman's offensive production. Sophomore Brittany Magee and freshmen Bowery, Crawford and Herbert could all see extensive time early in the season.
With the departure of several midfielders including Kaitlin Spencer, Michigan will have a retooled midfield for 2007. Junior Danelle Underwood returns from a season-ending knee injury and will look to get back to her first-year form when scored five times and was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team in 2005. Junior Kristin Thomas was voted the team's Most Improved Player in 2006 and worked her way into the starting lineup for the NCAA Tournament. Sophomore Kylie Neschke was in the Wolverine lineup down the stretch and can provide a punch from midfield. Redshirt freshman Niki Moran and Feree, a true freshman, have an opportunity to establish a spot in the lineup heading into the season.
Michigan returns all four defensive starters from its 2006 roster, led by Cottrell, last season's Most Valuable Player and co-captain. Fifth-year senior Emily Kalmbach and junior Skylar Andrews bring a combined 90 games of experience to the Wolverine back line. The depth on the rear-guard continues with sophomore Amy Klippert and senior Katie Bohard. Klippert brings the experience of 20 starts in her first season with the Wolverines while Bohard can provide a strong late-game boost off the bench. Freshmen Zambricki and Carron will fight for time as well.
Michigan will have a deep talent pool to choose from as it aims to replace Megan Tuura in goal. Junior Madison Gates has seen time in 11 games, including six career starts. She has been up to task against ranked opponents, making a career-high nine saves against then-No. 9 Penn State and two saves in relief of Tuura against then-No. 1 Notre Dame in 2006. Senior Lindsay Yakel will provide veteran leadership from the backup position for a team featuring a pair of freshman goalkeepers on the depth chart. Keane and Morgan will both come in vying for time with the upperclassmen.