Mon, Aug. 27, 2012 - [Women's Soccer]
Rio Grande Sports Information
RIO GRANDE, Ohio - For University of Rio Grande women's soccer head coach Callum Morris and his team, the 2012 season has officially arrived.
The RedStorm venture north to Grand Rapids, Mich. for a get-together with Davenport University in the opener for both schools, Tuesday night, at 7 p.m., at DU Turf Field. Rio Grande is coming off a 6-11 finish last season, including a 4-1 loss at home to the Lady Panthers.
"It's here - finally," said Morris. "It's been a long road since we finished up last November, trying to recruit and get things together. We had a few bumps along the way, but we just have to move on with it. This will be a good test for us to see where we're at. Davenport has a good team, but, hopefully, we can get off to a good performance and get the season rolling."
Morris is optimistic that his team can regain the form it showed in scrimmage outings against Asbury (Ky.) and Marietta, but seemed to lose in its final pre-season tuneup last Thursday at the University of Charleston.
"We played pretty well the first two times out, but we weren't where we needed to be in the third game," he said. "There were some decent performances against Charleston but, as a team, it wasn't good. We've got a few injuries that we're dealing with, but we're ready to get started."
The RedStorm opened pre-season workouts with eight players who were either full- or part-time starters a year ago, including junior midfielder Mary Beth Schramm (Marietta, OH), junior forward Alexandria Davis (Ashville, OH) and senior defender Vanessa Montgomery (Chillicothe, OH).
Schramm led the team in goals a year ago with three, while Davis found the net twice last season. Montgomery also scored a pair of goals en route to being named an honorable mention All-Mid-South Conference selection.
Morris also added a talented freshman class, including former Chillicothe High School standout midfielder/forward Kasey Crow, a second team All-Ohio pick and the Player of the Year in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League.
The team did suffer a recent setback when sophomore midfielder Rachel Hoffman, who was returning to the program after a year away and who was slated to figure big in Morris' overall scheme, did not meet eligibility requirements.
The RedStorm did catch a bit of break, though, with the return of senior defender Allyson Schmelzer (Lancaster, OH), an honorable mention All-MSC pick last year, who hadn't planned on playing this fall before being coaxed into coming back after the loss of Hoffman.
"It's a huge relief that she's able to come back and play," said Morris. "Losing Rachel through eligibity reasons was a big kick to us, but getting Allyson to come back was a bonus for us. She's a good player and senior who has played in the kind of games we'll be in before. She knows exactly what we need and what we expect."
Fourth-year Davenport head coach Chris Allen's squad also returns a number of player from last year, including first team All-Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference selection Paige Eli - who scored eight goals and assisted on five others as a freshman - and sophomore Letesha Cannonier, who was named to the All-WHAC second team after scoring a team-best 11 goals and recording five assists.
The Lady Panthers finished the 2011 campaign with an 11-8-1 record.
Live video of the game will be available at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/davenport.portal
#, while fans can also follow the game through live statistics at http://www.sidearmstats.com/davenport/wsoc/scoreboard.aspx