2016 Women’s Soccer Preview

Posted on August 31st, 2016 by

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s soccer team begins its 2016 campaign at 4 p.m. Thursday as the Gusties hit the road for Lincoln, Neb. to take on Nebraska Wesleyan University. Live video is available here.

2015 MIAC Coach-of-the-Year Laura Burnett-Kurie enters the 2016 season coming off her most successful stint as head coach of the Gustavus women’s soccer team. The 2015 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Playoff Champions owned a record of 13-7-1 and went 8-3-0 during conference play for a second place regular season finish.

Maddison Ackiss

Maddison Ackiss

The Golden Gusties lost only one starter from 2015 and return 88 percent of their scoring. All four 2015 Gustie All-Conference recipients in Maddison Ackiss (Sr., Fairbanks, Alaska), Sophie Leininger (Jr., Plymouth, Minn.), Josie Mazzone (Jr., Rapid City, S.D.) and MIAC Rookie of the Year Ashley Becker (So., Farmington, Minn.) return and are excited to build off last year’s success.

“Obviously we want to play off of our confidence from last year and use our experience to our favor, but at the same time we know that every year is different,” Burnett-Kurie said. “We are focused on this season and making sure that we come out strong and put in the leg work during preseason so that we are ready for conference play.”

After a 2-13-3 record in 2014, the 2015 Gusties took a big leap forward and had their best season since 2000 when Gustavus finished with a 14-win season under head coach Mike Stehlik. Burnett-Kurie expects the Gusties to have more of a target on their back this season.

“I definitely think that we were a surprise team last year,” she said. “It was great for us. We knew within our program that we had been getting close every year to achieving our goals, so from the inside it wasn’t as far away as we thought. Now we certainly have a target on our backs and that’s a great thing because it puts the pressure on. Everybody plays collegiate soccer for the competitiveness and we are excited about it.”

Coursey Edwards

Coursey Edwards

The 2016 Black and Gold captains Coursey Edwards (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.), Jana Elliot (Sr., Eagan, Minn.), Leininger, and Emily Odermatt (Jr., Minneapolis, Minn.) look to provide leadership and help the program take the next step forward.

“Each year we’ve been adding on more and more depth,” Burnett-Kurie said. “This is the first year where we have everyone in the program as recruited athletes. Starting to build that relationship when they’re still in high school and bringing them in where they understand what the expectations are and what we’re trying to achieve is huge. This year, having four recruited classes in, I think that’s kind of the next level for us. We can push our athletes further, raise our standard of excellence and demand more for them because they set the bar as to what they wanted to achieve. We are just guiding them and providing an opportunity for them to achieve that.”

Gustavus was recently selected to finish second in the 2016 MIAC Preseason Coach’s Poll.

“We want to continue to show that we deserve to be recognized in the MIAC and show that last year wasn’t just a one-year thing,” Burnett-Kurie said. “We have a vision for the program and every year we are looking to achieve that. It’s a balance between demanding excellence from our players on the field, in their extracurricular activities, and in the classroom.”

Gustavus owns an all-time 2-1-0 record against Nebraska Wesleyan. The Gusties’ previous match was an overtime loss in 2006.

2016 Roster

2016 Schedule

2015 Stats

 

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