Spartans to Host No. 8 UNC for Women’s Soccer Exhibition Saturday
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG women's soccer team plays host to national power North Carolina in a preseason exhibition Saturday at 7 p.m. at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
"This is a major part of our preseason and this will give us a clear idea of where we stand," said head coach Steve Nugent. "One thing that UNC does to every team is test you mentally and we are really looking forward to this challenge. Preseason is an opportunity to really hit on the most important elements for your team so you can see success when the season starts."
UNCG was predicted to finish fourth in the annual preseason Southern Conference poll as the Spartans are coming off a 7-3-1 record in the SoCon last season. UNCG was 6-1 in road contests in 2011, including 5-0 on the road in the SoCon. Redshirt senior Cat Barnekow was selected to the preseason all-conference team as a defender after leading the team with 14 assists in 2010.
The Blue and Gold return three all-conference players in senior Stephanie Partenheimer, senior Karin Sendel and sophomore Ashley Stokes. Sendel was second on the team in points with nine on two goals and five assists last season, while Stokes was tied for second in goals with three. Partenheimer started all 19 games at defender and led the team in minutes played with 1646. The Spartans return six starters and welcome 17 newcomers to the fold this season.
Winners of 21 national championships, the Tar Heels hope to ascend to the top of the collegiate ranks in 2012 after falling in the third round of the NCAA Tournament the last two seasons. Junior Kealia Ohai, a 2011 Hermann Watch List selection, is back to lead the attack for Coach Anson Dorrance's squad after finishing her sophomore season with 18 points on a team-best six goals and six assists. Redshirt senior goalie Adelaide Gay also returns after a posting a 0.40 goals against average and 23 saves in 18 starts one year ago. UNC is ranked No. 8 in the preseason rankings after finishing the 2011 campaign with a 13-5-2 record.
The 2012 season will officially kick off on Friday, Aug. 17 against SEC foe Georgia at 7 p.m. at UGA Soccer Stadium.
Be sure to follow all updates about the 2012 UNCG women's soccer team on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports.
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