Panthers anticipating improved 2016 season

Tyler McCluskey and Phil Delma, Women’s soccer reporters| @DEN_Sports

Freshman midfielder Angela Corcoran kicks the ball during an exhibition match against Evansville on Aug. 14 at Lakeside Field.
Justin Brown
Freshman midfielder Angela Corcoran kicks the ball during an exhibition match against Evansville on Aug. 14 at Lakeside Field.

With the women’s soccer season kicking off, the director of soccer Kiki Lara is hoping for a change from last years 4-13-2 record.

The team lost their two leading goal scorers from last year, Hannah Miller with five goals and Molly Hawkins with seven, but the team added new freshmen and wants them to add to the culture of the team.

“The main thing is that we want players to come in with the mentality that they are willing to serve the program and give the program everything,” Lara said. “We expect them to be phenomenal student-athletes (on) day one.”

Lara added that the freshman on the team have fit well to the ideals of what he expects out of his players on and off the field.

But with the loss of Miller and Hawkins, Lara said he wants to input a consistent style of play.

“We want every position to think how we can influence the attack and we want them to think how can we influence the defending side of things,” Lara said. “We mostly want them to anticipate each of those before they happen.”

One freshman, goalkeeper Sara Teteak, started both games so far for the Panthers and has faced 18 shots on goal and has saved 15 of those for a save percentage of 83. Sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Lyon had 129 saves and a save percentage of 79.6 last season for the Panthers.

“The goalies right now are all competing, they all have strengths and weaknesses, weaknesses and strengths. They all match each other,” Lara said. So we’re trying to figure out what’s the best combination of players. I don’t think we figured it out yet, not just in the goalkeeper position, but in any position. It’s a new team.”

Over the course of the season, Lara will have to decide on which team to travel with for some of the games. He said that his staff was good enough and strong enough to establish a playing style.

“We can manage managers and make the players independent learners as well,” Lara said. “I think that’s the goal of any program whether you’re coaching one or two (teams) is to make sure that these players become independent of the coach. And with the girls, we’ve just begun. So I think it’s going to be a matter of balancing and educating everybody in the same style and same way and it’ll take off.”


Tyler McCluskey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected] and Phil Delma can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]