The Gustavus Adolphus College women’s soccer team returns six starters and 14 letterwinners from a team that finished with a mark of 8-8-2 overall, and 5-4-2 (sixth) in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) last season. Coach Mike Stehlik will build the 2007 squad around senior forward Jenna Iaizzo (White Bear Lake, Minn.), the team’s leading returning scorer, and defender Rachel Iblings (sophomore, Plymouth, Minn./Armstrong). Both were honorable mention all-conference performers last season.
Iaizzo, a two-year starter at forward, will lead the team’s attack. She tallied four goals and two assists for ten points in 18 games a year ago. At six-feet tall, Iaizzo is a big target for the Gusties who will look to play the ball to her in the air. Other returners at forward for Gustavus will be junior Christy Tupy (Eagan, Minn./Burnsville), who contributed one goal and two assists for four points last year, and sophomore Chelsea Craven (Sauk Rapids, Minn./St. Cloud Cathedral), who tallied two goals for four points.
In the midfield, Coach Stehlik welcomes back two starters including junior Callie Christensen (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson) and sophomore Becca Hagen (Minneapolis, Minn./South). Christensen missed a significant portion of last season with an ankle injury, but she appears to be healthy to start the 2007 season, while Hagen stepped right in and made a significant contribution as a first year player last year. She started 13 games, scoring two goals. Others expected to contribute in the midfield include junior Ashley Voigtlander (Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial), sophomore Kirsten Thulien (Burnsville, Minn./Lakeville North), senior Amy Kunkel (St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral), and senior Tami Korb (Rapids City, So. Dak./Stevens).
Defensively, the team will be led by sophomore defenders Rachel Iblings and Alison Dittmer (Plymouth, Minn./Osseo), and sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Ohlson (Anchorage, Alaska/Dimond). Iblings and Dittmer started every game in the back for the Gusties last year and the young duo will anchor the unit this year. Olson was moved into the starting goalkeepers role last year after Julie Mahre suffered a season-ending knee injury four games into the season. Olson performed well compiling a mark of 6-4-1 with a 1.07 goals against average. Others expected to contribute include junior Jaime Tsurusaki (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) and junior Britta Petersen (Stillwater, Minn.) in the field, and first year Chelsea Bayer (Rogers, Minn.) at goalkeeper.
The Gusties will open the season in Iowa with matches at Simpson and Grinnell on August 31 and September 1 before returning home to face UW-Stevens Point on Friday, September 7. Coach Mike Stehlik’s squad will open MIAC play at St. Olaf on Wednesday, September 12.