By Sam Heath
Having won both the Midwest Collegiate Conference regular season and tournament titles in the 2013 season, the St. Ambrose Women’s Soccer team are looking to accomplish the same successes that they managed last year.
After receiving six of the seven first-place votes, the Bees sit well atop the MCC preseason coaches poll going into the conference tournament, followed by Viterbo University and Grand View University.
The Bees are looking to carry on the strong performances of last year, which saw the Bees finishing the season 14-5-1 overall, including an incredible 6-0 league play record and finishing the season off as 25th in the nation.
There is even more room for excitement, as the Bees have risen in the NAIA national rankings to sit strongly in the 21st spot going into the 2014 season.
“After last season and our recent preseason poll ranking, everyone is feeling confident about the upcoming season. We have every faith that we are going to repeat our success and push on in the national tournament rounds” said returning sophomore, Jade Blackwell.
Coach Jon Mannall believes that his team are building on the positives from last year and are looking to capitalize on the squad he has. “We’re looking to continue some of the big strides we made last year, we led the country in clean sheets with 13 so that was very special for us.” said Mannall.
Despite losing influential Senior Ashley Dexter, who now joins Mannall as part of the coaching staff, the Bees believe that this may open up many more spots for players to shine.
“The players who are coming in have plenty of opportunities on this team, the scoring and assists will be spread across the team giving us a more balanced attacking approach, rather than a linear one.” said Mannall.
The Bees will be looking to conquer the MCC in a similar style this year and push on far into the National tournament.
“We have the right characters and leaders to take us to a very strong position in the national competition” said Mannall.