GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG's women's soccer team has named seniors Kelsey Kearney and Cat Barnekow and redshirt junior Stephanie Partenheimer team captains for 2011, head coach Steve Nugent announced Tuesday.
Kearney will be entering her second season as a team captain. The Durham, N.C., goalkeeper is UNCG's school-record holder in career shutouts (31) and goals against average (0.61) entering the 2011 campaign. A three-time All-Southern Conference performer and last season's SoCon tournament MVP, Kearney is just five shutouts back of the league's career record and is tied for the SoCon record for career GAA. She was an NSCAA/Performance Subaru All-Southeast Region second-team selection last year.
Barnekow, a midfielder, led the SoCon and was third in the nation last season with 14 assists, moving her into 13th in UNCG history in just two seasons on the squad. The Santa Rosa, Calif., native, who transferred in after spending her freshman season at Santa Rosa Junior College, had the third-most assists in a single season in school history. A two-time All-SoCon pick, Barnekow also earned all-region honors last season. This season will mark Barnekow's first as a team captain.
Partenheimer is also entering her third season on the squad after transferring from NC State and redshirting her true freshman year. A midfielder/defender, the Apex, N.C., native saw action in 16 contests last season with seven starts. She has two career assists, both coming on game-winning goals, and has contributed to a defensive unit that has posted 22 shutouts over the last two seasons. An Academic All-SoCon performer last season, Partenheimer will be a team captain for the first time.
"We are excited that our team has honored Cat, Stephanie and Kelsey with the responsibility of leading our team in 2011," Nugent said. "I feel the three of them will provide excellent, balanced leadership. All of the girls have unique collegiate experiences to this point, and they each have a different style of leadership that, when added together, will provide a strong foundation for our team. With the tough upcoming schedule and the addition of eight new UNCG Spartans, the leadership of our captains will be incredibly important."
The Spartans, who have won five straight SoCon regular-season titles and finished last season ranked 23rd in the nation, will hold a Blue-Gold scrimmage on Sunday at 7 p.m. and an exhibition against North Georgia on Aug. 14 at 2 p.m. UNCG opens the regular season when it hosts Virginia Tech at the UNCG Soccer Stadium on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m.
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