We do individual player previews for men's basketball, so it's only fair that we attempt some kind of outlook for the other sports as well. Let's take a look at Marquette women's soccer's returning players from 2014 here, and we'll check in with the newcomers in a different post.
For simplicity's sake, we'll divide the team up into defense, midfield, and forwards, and we'll start with MU's strongest set of players.
With two of Marquette's three seniors this year, and four of their seven returning starters, goalkeeping and defense is the obvious strength of the team. Amanda Engel returns for her fourth season starting in net for the Golden Eagles, continuing on the fine tradition of four year starters under Markus Roeders. While 2014 was easily Engel's worst season with MU, things are trending upwards for the senior netminder. She returns three of her four core defenders from last season: fellow senior Jacie Jermier, along with juniors Morgan Proffitt and Erin Holland. Jermier and Holland were new to the defensive end last season, with Jermier moving backwards from the midfield and Holland jumping into the lineup due to the constant roster churn of college athletics.
The rest of the returning defenders aren't without a bit of experience. Cali Pyzdrowski saw action in 14 contests last year, including starts in the final four games after Holland was sidelined with an injury. Pyzdrowski is working her way back to the field after an injury herself right now, which could lend itself to some time for Madison Dunker (11 appearances in 2014). Lisa Roman and Kirsten Timmer are both sophomores on the academic calendar, with Roman carrying a redshirt season around with her as well. With a combined nine appearances in 2014, they might not be expected to do much for this year's team, but it's nice to know the depth is there.
Here we'll find Marquette's third and final senior, Ann Marie Lynch. She's going to have to carry a heavy load in the midfield for the Golden Eagles this season. Last year, Lynch was one of seven Golden Eagles to appear in all 21 matches. Of the eight returning players listed as pure midfielders on the 2015 roster (Roeders has an odd affectation to list a number of players as either MF/D or MF/F), four of them appeared in three or fewer matches, including redshirt seasons for both Katie Ciesiulka and Ryley Bugay in their first years on campus.
Lynch will have two familiar faces out there with her, though: Eli Beard returns from an injury shortened freshman year campaign in 2014 that saw her score two goals and an assist, and Caroline Fink (1 goal in 18 appearances) is back for her sophomore season as well. While this grouping seems a little short on experience, that will end up not bothering the Golden Eagles all that much, and that's because of the group of forwards on the roster. Speaking of that group...
Darian Powell, Liz Bartels, Ashley Handwork, Meegan Johnston, and Heather Handwork. All back from 2014, after they combined for 14 goals and 10 assists last year. That's about 38% of the MU offense coming back just from those five players, and both of the Handwork women missed significant time. The real loss for Marquette last year was Ashley, who still managed to score two goals in just 11 games. From the sound of things, Johnston isn't 100% fit right now, but it seems that the coaching staff is optimistic that she'll be able to contribute early in the season.
Obviously, you're going to want to get them all on the pitch at the same time, which is where Roeders will get a chance to cover over not having a lot of strong experience in his specifically designated midfielders. The rest of the forwards group isn't particularly experienced, although Molly Pfeiffer did have 11 appearances in 2014, and Emilee Mytinger saw action in two games. Emily Mouille and Carrie Madden took redshirt years in 2014, and look to get their collegiate careers started off this season.