Three of last year’s top four scorers and an all-region pick at defender return for the Gustavus women’s soccer team this fall. Members of the squad will begin pre-season practice with Head Coach Mike Stehlik on August 19.
Gustavus finished the 2002 season at 9-4-4, 5-4-2 in the MIAC. After starting the year 7-1-2, the Gusties hit a stretch in which they scored only four goals over the following six competitions. The team won its 200th game in the 21-year history of the program with a win at St. Scholastica.
Key returnees from last season’s squad include junior back Kelly Keith, senior midfielder Birabwa Mutebi, and sophomore forwards Britanee Pelikan and Samantha Engh.
Keith, a Minneapolis, Minnesota native, was named to the 2002 Adidas/National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) NCAA Division III All-Central Region Third Team. Mutebi, a fellow Minneapolis product, scored eight goals including two game-winners.
Pelikan, who hails from Rosemount, Minnesota, also netted eight goals and was second on the squad with 20 points. She was named all-conference honorable mention. Engh, from Wayzata, Minnesota, provided an offensive spark off of the Gustie bench. She tallied seven goals and three assists.
Gustavus begins its season on August 29 at non-conference foe Nebraska Wesleyan. A quirk in the scheduling has the Gusties playing six straight road games to start the year before opening up a six-game homestand against St. Benedict on September 27.