The Pacific University women’s soccer team’s 2011 campaign was definitely one to remember. Their 10 wins were the most in a season since 2002, when the Boxers won 11 games. Despite losing seven seniors, head coach Morgan Crabtree is going into her third season looking for bigger things from her girls.
“Although we are young,” Crabtree explained, “the overall competitive quality of the group has improved.” Crabtree will be looking for seniors Sarah Tuffey, Brittany Hartmann, Kaitlyn Harper and Kristen Dick to lead a team that has 10 incoming freshmen.
Tuffey, Hartmann, Harper and Dick all have the advantage of having played for Crabtree and assistant coach Dane Joseph for two years each. Crabtree knows that her veteran players will make her life easier because “they understand the expectations and can hold the younger players accountable. The returning players understand that we hold such high expectations of them because we want them to excel in everything that they do.”
Hartmann is looking to finish her career as a Boxer with a season for the record books. In 2011, she was named Honorable Mention All-Northwest Conference and was selected to the Capital One Academic Division III All-District VIII Team. She also broke Colleen Reardon’s 16-year-old school record with a 1.09 goals against average and matched Danalyn Ong’s 1999 school record of seven shut outs for the season. She already holds the school’s career record for shutouts with 15.
Rachael Pratt, a freshman from Bremerton, Wash., has already seen time as a starter at center back. Lyndsey Watanabe, Nicolle Leeming and Morgan McClincy have seen time playing outside back, Dani McMurray out wide and McKenna Davidson and Chantal Gustine at forward.
Another notable newcomer is sophomore Kamryn Plechot, a central midfielder transfer from Vanguard University. With all of the incoming talent, Crabtree calls this the deepest squad that the women’s soccer team has had since she arrived at Pacific in 2010. She also adds that “although we are young, the overall competitive quality of the group has improved.”
Since coming to Pacific in 2010, coach Crabtree has made it a main focus for the team that her ladies are great both on and off the field. In the spring of 2012, Crabtree brought her squad into Hillsboro to play with a local youth team. The event doubled as a team bonding experience and to emphasize the importance of giving back to the community.
The Boxers have already travelled to California this season, tying a strong Redlands team 2-2 and beating Whittier 2-0. They start NWC league play at home against George Fox on September 12.