GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro women’s soccer was one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation last season, ranking 11th in scoring offense (2.38 goals per game). Multiple Spartan forwards racked up goals during the year, and with everyone returning, the position itself returns more goal scoring than each individual team in the Southern Conference.
“This team scored 50 goals last year, which is really a lot,” UNCG head coach Michael Coll said. “I don't know how easy it is to score that much two seasons in a row. The final number isn’t that important, though. I just know that we'll have threatening, attacking players each time we step out onto the field.”
Reigning Player of the Year, Cienna Rideout
Cienna Rideout had one of the best individual scoring seasons in program history in 2018 en route to winning SoCon Player of the Year and a selection to the United Soccer Coaches’ All-Southeast Region Second-Team as the only player in the conference to earn the honor. Rideout lead the league in goals (14), game-winning goals (five), points (37) and shots per game (3.95) and tied for first in assists (nine) despite missing the first two games of the year. The rising senior forward tied for the fifth-most points in a single season in program history and also tied for ninth in goals.
“Cienna is a such a worker,” Coll said. “She can equal or better her offensive output from last year and repeat as SoCon Player of the Year due to the fact she's so competitive and driven to improve her game.”
Depth of Returning Talent
Rideout wasn’t the only other Spartan to collect an individual award from the SoCon. Nicole Souply was tabbed freshman of the year after producing eight goals and 18 points, tied for fourth-most in the league. Eight goals came from three other freshman forwards last year. Caroline Fiorella had four along with 11 points. Isabelle Blomdahl scored a pair before having to miss eight games due to injury. Natalie Sabiston also contributed two goals.
The upperclassmen forwards also proved to be dependable and clutch scoring threats last season. Junior Quiqui Hita and senior Grace Regal both had four goals and 11 points. Regal’s production came in the most ideal time for the Spartans. With a goal early in the season in a 2-1 road win at Mercer, she registered the game-winning goal in each of UNCG’s SoCon Tournament games to garner a spot on the all-tournament team. Hita had a pair of game-winning goals in SoCon action as well.
“We have multiple goal scoring and making threats,” Coll said. “A pair of sophomores returning in Nicole and Caroline. Grace was so big in the postseason for us. All those players coming back will be real strong components of our attack again. The players behind them in the field will set them up hopefully again with real threatening attacks.”
Depth of Returning Talent
True freshmen Maddy Gilhool and Ciani Ricks will join the group to add even more young talent to the Spartans’ front line.
“We have a couple of incoming freshmen who'll be added to the mix, who I expect who will do well in the attacking front line as well,” said Coll. “Ciani is a true goal scoring, central attacker, which is her whole background. Hopefully she can embrace that role her at the collegiate level. Maddy is the other attacking player and is a more of a wide, assist type of player. Great kids with athleticism and experience that will have to catch up with the returning players to hopefully come off the bench and do well.
-- UNCG –