UNCG hosts High Point for 2010 exhibition opener Wednesday
UNCG vs. High Point (exhibition), Aug. 11, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium
- UNCG begins its quest for a fifth straight Southern Conference title when it opens its 2010 women's soccer slate with an exhibition against High Point on Wednesday at the UNCG Soccer Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m. and admission is free.
- The Spartans won their fourth consecutive regular-season SoCon title in 2009. UNCG went 13-7-0 overall and 9-2-0 in the SoCon in 2009, running its league-record unbeaten streak in regular-season contests to 33 matches before the senior class suffered its first-ever SoCon loss.
- Tabitha Padgett was named the SoCon's Co-Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in an outstanding rookie season. Padgett scored a team-best eight goals in 2009 and was UNCG's second-leading scorer with 19 points overall. Five of Padgett's goals were game-winners.
- UNCG returns four 2009 All-Southern Conference players in first-teamers Padgett and Jenn Partenheimer and second-teamers Cat Barnekow and Kelsey Kearney. Padgett and Lauren Hein also earned spots on the All-Freshman Team.
- The Spartans return 14 student-athletes from last season's squad, including six of their top eight scorers. Six starters – Padgett, Partenheimer, Barnekow, Kearney, Casey Godwin and Katie Evans – return. Also returning are Hein, Nicole Danford, Katie Durst, Jessi Gulledge, Jaimey Etten, Stephanie Partenheimer, Alex Perry and Jen Rincon.
- UNCG welcomes eight newcomers to the fold this season. Morgan Kennedy, Lauren Lover, Kaytee O'Brien, Jenna Olson, Kristen Schmidbauer, Stine Schoening, Kory Spotts and Ashlee Wilhelmsen join the squad as freshmen.
- Kearney, a two-time All-SoCon selection (first team, 2008) enters the season as UNCG's career leader in goals against average, as she has posted a 0.64 mark in her first two seasons. She is also tied for fourth in shutouts (19) and is sixth in saves (127) and minutes (3,361:05).
- Gone are all-conference players Lauren Lopez, Jen Bronson and Kristin Player. Lopez was one of 10 national finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in 2009 and was named a second-team All-American by the organization.
- High Point returns 13 letterwinners from last season's 7-15-2 campaign. The Panthers went just 4-4-1 in the Big South but went 5-3-2 in their last 10 games and won the league tournament (tying Winthrop 0-0 and winning on penalty kicks), earning the league's automatic NCAA berth. High Point fell to eventual national champion North Carolina in the first round, 1-0.
- Leading scorer Janay Whittaker was a second-team All-Big South selection and a member of the Big South All-Freshman Team last season.
- The Panthers are also bringing in a big class of newcomers, with 12 fresh faces on the field. Two of them are transfers, while 10 of them are freshmen.
- High Point was picked fourth in the Big South Preseason Poll, which was released Tuesday. The Panthers garnered 69 points in the poll, as Coastal Carolina edged them for third with 72 points. Liberty was picked to win the league, while Charleston Southern was picked second. High Point finished just ahead of fifth-place Radford, which got 68 points.
- UNCG topped High Point 4-0 on Sept. 17 of last season. A first-half Padgett goal gave the Spartans a 1-0 lead at halftime, and UNCG put the game away with three goals in the second half, two of them coming from Hein less than seven minutes apart. Danford had the final goal, while Kearney and Perry combined on the shutout in the net.
- Wednesday's game will not follow the traditional soccer format. Instead, the game will be played in three 30-minute periods, with 10-minute intermissions between each.
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