2021 Women’s Soccer Season Preview

Posted on August 31st, 2021 by

2021 Gustavus women's soccer (photo courtesy of SPX Sports)

SAINT PETER, Minn. – After missing the fall of 2020 season due to the pandemic and a shortened spring of 2021 season with mainly exhibition matches, the Gustavus women’s soccer team is set to embark on a full-slated schedule Wednesday afternoon at Central College. The Gusties are coming off a spring season where they posted a 4-3 overall record against all but one conference opponent. This fall’s schedule features seven non-conference games and 11 MIAC contests.

Head Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie, who is in her 10th season at the helm, is excited about the makeup of her team and the potential they possess. The Gusties lost seven seniors to graduation but gained 16 first-years with 34 total players on the roster.

“Having such a large first-year class combined with all of our talented returners, it’s super competitive and in practice we can train at a high level,” Burnett-Kurie said. “Knowing that we have so much depth on the team, and we have a lot of untapped potential that we have to build in to, that’s really exciting and I think everyone is feeding off that. It’s also pushing our upperclassmen to not become complacent. They continue to push and see what new heights they can reach.”

Katie Ashpole (Sr., Chaska) returns as the team’s top scorer. Ashpole tallied three goals and an assist for seven points during the seven spring games. She also led the team in 2019 with five goals and two assists for 12 points. Ashpole has played in all 63 games since her first year in 2016. Page Cocchiarella (Sr., Owatonna) also enters her fifth season with the program. Cocchiarella, a midfielder, posted six points on a goal and four assists during the spring. She has played in 47 career games since 2016.

In goal, Abby Goodno (Sr., Little Canada) will lead a talented and deep group of keepers after leading the team with a 1.50 goals against average this past spring. Other seniors include Leah Pavlish (Prior Lake), Kenna West (Owatonna), Tayler Grossman (Lakeville), Lydia Arens (Princeton), and Rachel Rehnelt (Albert Lea).

“I think this senior class checks a lot of the boxes in regards to their leadership and their skill set on the field,” Burnett-Kurie said. “While last year was really tough, we also learned a lot and our perspective long term switched a little bit of being appreciative and grateful of the moments that have helped us continue to evolve our culture to a stronger standpoint. On the field, they are a great example for our younger players with their work ethic and buying in to our Gustie tempo and style of play. They’re doing a great job of taking the younger players under their wings.”

The Gusties begin the fall 2021 campaign with four non-conference games before welcoming St. Scholastica to the MIAC for the first league matchup on Sept. 14. With perennial MIAC champion St. Thomas out of the league, the conference title is up for the taking and it’s sure to be a battle all the way through the regular season.

“At a wonderful institution with great facilities and wonderful support from the top down, we should be competing at the top of our conference each year,” Burnett-Kurie said. “It’s really hard in our conference to accomplish that but that’s always one of our goals as well as winning the team community service award, doing well in the classroom, and developing our leadership skills.”

2021 Schedule | 2021 Roster


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