Expectations high for women’s soccer

Christopher A. Smith

Head coach Anne Clifton’s Villanova women’s soccer team, coming off a banner season that included a win in the NCAA Tournament, is set to open a promising season tomorrow against George Mason at 1 p.m. at the Villanova Soccer Complex.

Expectations are high following a season that saw the ‘Cats post a 13-6-3 record, and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, the team’s first-ever invitation. The team also posted its first ever NCAA Tournament win, defeating Pennsylvania in the first round of the Penn State regional.

Several Wildcats also garnered individual accomplishments. Villanova lost goalkeeper Janel Schillig to graduation, following a stellar season that culminated with her being honored as the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association College Player of the Year. Another departed Wildcat, Quinn Sellers, who left the team for personal reasons, earned Second Team All-Conference honors. And Michelle Biehl, who returns for her sophomore year, was named to the NSCAA All-Mid Atlantic Region team.

Chrissy Dolan will try to fill the big shoes left by Schillig, anchoring a strong defense that will be the strength of Villanova this season.

Biehl teams with seniors Jennifer Carrigan and Julie Battista as the squad’s captains, trying to build upon last year’s success while ushering in a strong freshman class.

The Big East Conference also has high regards for Clifton’s team, voting them to a fourth place finish in the Mid-Atlantic Division, behind Notre Dame, West Virginia and Rutgers. The Wildcats open the conference portion of their schedule on September 11 when they travel to Storrs to take on the perennial powerhouse Connecticut Huskies.