THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Coming off a second round appearance in the NCAA Division III Soccer Tournament and a third straight Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship, the Cal Lutheran women’s soccer team is poised for another strong season in 2013. The Regals return an All-American, two All-West Region recipients and two other All-SCIAC performers from a year ago while welcoming in six transfers and seven freshmen.
The Regals will be led by head coach Frank Marino who is in his fifth season at the helm of the Cal Lutheran women’s soccer program. Marino and his staff have compiled a 69-16-4 record at CLU with conference championships in each of last three seasons. In 2012, Marino led the Regals to an 18-5 record and also earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Division III Soccer Tournament. CLU earned its first post-season victory in over a decade when it defeated Wartburg (Iowa) 2-1 during the opening round. Cal Lutheran then nearly earned a berth into the Elite Eight before narrowly falling to Concordia-Moorhead 3-2.
On the field, the Regals will be led by junior forward Taylor Will. A 2012 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Second Team All-American, Will scored 18 goals including all four for CLU during the NCAA tournament. Will, also named the 2012 SCIAC Player of the Year, had 14 goals in conference play to go along with three assists.
Joining Will at the top will be senior Kristina Hulse who earned Second Team All-SCIAC honors in 2012. The Palmdale, Calif. native had five goals and two assists last season. For her career, Hulse has scored 23 goals and dished out 14 assists.
Cal Lutheran will also count on Pepperdine transfer Bianca Deardorff for some added goal scoring. Before redshirting for the Waves in 2012, Deardorff netted over 50 goals in her prep career for high school power Oaks Christian.
Freshmen Nicole Bird, Nicole Campbell, Katelyn Kimball and transfer Sierra Duarte will also compete for a spot in front three for the Regals.
Controlling the midfield for CLU will be 2012 Second Team All-SCIAC honoree Brittany Eremita and senior Bailey Marquez. In her debut season, Eremita was used primarily as a spark of the bench and helped CLU become the top scoring team in the conference. A Saddleback College transfer in 2012, Marquez made an impact in her first year for the Regals scoring two goals and tallying four assists.
Sophomore Deanna Dakar also returns in the midfield while CLU will also hope for contributions for Whittier College transfer Alli Calabrese. Playing for the Poets last season, Calabrese netted three goals and had two assists while appearing in 18 games.
Fellow newcomers Yahaira Hernandez, Julia Kearns, Kelly Morro, Katie Moyer, Katarina Rocha will all be counted on provide quality depth in the midfield.
In the back, Cal Lutheran returns the majority of its lineup that finished in the top 30 defensively last fall. First Team All-West Region defender Stephanie Gilbert returns for her final season after helping CLU hold SCIAC opponents to just four goals in 14 conference games. Fellow senior and defender Anna Medler is back and has started all 67 games she has appeared in. With Medler patrolling the back, SCIAC opponents have scored only 12 goals 38 conference games over the past three years against the Regals.
Sophomore Mallory Carcich also returns after starting the final 15 games as a defender as does Jenna Malinowski who appeared in 11 matches. The Regals will also look for Cypress College transfer Chelsea Braudo and freshmen Amanda Juan and Elena Rust to contribute in the back four.
Minding the net will be Kristin Bailey who will be in her second year as the CLU goalkeeper. A year ago, the junior came up with 53 saves while leading the SCIAC in goals against average with a 0.53 mark. Bailey was also in net as CLU set a school record with 13 shutouts during the season. Sophomore Karly Loberg also returns to provide depth in front of the net.
The Regals open their season against Whitworth (Wash.) Friday, August 30 in Spokane. Kickoff is set for 12:00pm. CLU is then on the road for its next four games before opening up its home schedule on Saturday, September 21 against Whittier. Kickoff inside of Rolland Stadium is at 1:00pm.