Archive for August 2013

2013 College Soccer Preview   Leave a comment

The 2013 college soccer season will be the first one where Milwaukee United Soccer Club will be sending players from its program back to campus and thus not just scouting prospective players for the organization.  Given our desire to expand to two teams for 2014, our watch list this fall is a little broader and stretches strategically beyond the borders of Milwaukee County.  Our preview will be broken down into the following sections:  our current players (along with their teams); incoming players; players we are continuing to scout from last year; and players from our expanded area of focus.

Our Current Players

We begin our preview with the players which comprised our Women’s Premier League team this past summer and the schools where they play during the academic year.  St. Norbert College, in De Pere, had three players on our team [Ashley Saskowski (West Allis Hale), Kaitlin Malliet (DSHA), and Katherine Oleniczak (Wauwatosa East)] and, alongside returning watch list players Kaitlin Schmitz (St. Thomas More) and Sarah Platzer (Whitefish Bay), will be trying to lead the Green Knights to supremacy of the Midwest Conference and an NCAA tournament berth this fall, having fallen to Lake Forest College in last year’s conference championship game.  Cardinal Stritch University, contributors of a team-high four players [Lourdes Gil (Milwaukee Bay View), Brittney Brown (Shorewood), Bre McDonald (Port Washington), and Cassie Braam (Port Washington)] to Milwaukee United, will be seeking a turnaround from last season’s 3-14 record and we hope the arrival on campus of watch list freshmen Anna Stadler (Wauwatosa West) and Danielle Doucette (Nicolet) will help the Wolves climb the Chicago Collegiate Athletic Conference standings.  The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh seeks to build upon last season’s middle-of-the-pack finish in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with returning MUSC players Jenna Lahmann (Wauwatosa West), Heidi Hetzel (Sheboygan South), and Leeah Rivas (Sheboygan South) being a part of the Titans’ advancement in 2013.  Meanwhile, Alverno College sees a fair number of new players joining MUSC Most Improved Player Neysel Powell (Milwaukee School of Languages) on the Inferno this fall, amongst them Emily Ogas (Milwaukee School of Langauges), Hayley Serketich (Greendale), and Samantha and Sarah Devcich (Franklin).  Last but certainly not least, MUSC Most Valuable Player Kristy Leopold (Nicolet) returns to Southwest Minnesota State University with an eye on the starting goalkeeper’s job for a team that just missed the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference playoffs in 2012.

Incoming Players

Every fall brings a new class of players to the college game and onto our radar.  This year, the notable first-year players on our watch list are Briana Pawlowski (St. Cloud State/Greendale), Megan Armstrong (Michigan Tech/Whitefish Bay), Sabelle Seabrook (Edgewood College/Wauwatosa West), Brooke Harty (Lakeland College/South Milwaukee), Megan Nitzsche (St. Mary’s University-MN/St. Thomas More), and Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Kait Riley (Brookfield East/Wauwatosa) and Sara Travia (Nicolet).

Returning Watch List Players

2012 saw us scout and follow more than 60 players and while not all of them joined us in our inaugural campaign, a number of them are still being watched by us with the hope of bringing them on-board for the summer of 2014.  Sarah Tompkins (Univ. of TN-Martin/Franklin) returns to campus for her senior season, as do Jessica Allemang (UW-Whitewater/Wauwatosa West), Chrissy Campbell (Western Illinois/Greendale), and Kinsey Campbell (Loras College/Greendale).  Other returning players we rate highly include Jenny Zima (Millikin University/Milw. Pius XI), Carly Herald (Carroll University/Wauwatosa East), and Abby Starker (Washington University-St. Louis/Whitefish Bay).

Our Expansion

With the plan to have two teams next summer, combined with the short roster we operated with this past year, it has become imperative that we cast our net wide enough that we are able to bring in the necessary number of players to make that plan a reality.  However, we are not just opening the doors and ignoring our primary mission of expanding playing opportunities for those who have been bypassed previously by other clubs.  Our expansion builds off the success we had with our players from Port Washington and Sheboygan by looking into other nearby but isolated communities of talent for new players.  We are also taking a closer look at players from mid-major Division I colleges who, though they might not fit within our prioritized geographic area, may bring something unique to the organization.  A few of the players in this expansion pool include Alex Piercy (Central Florida/Brookfield East), Maria Stephans (UW-Milwaukee/Hartford), Angie Mann (Central Michigan/Grafton), Hannah Groth (Stony Brook/Cedarburg), and Michelle Greeneway (Lake Forest/Sheboygan North).

A small note about attrition

Attrition is always a concern of ours, and this fall will see a noted drop-off in Milwaukee Public Schools graduates playing college soccer.  In 2012, 10 MPS graduates were on our watch list, but only 3 of the 9 with remaining eligibility are returning in 2013 [Gil, Powell, and Casey Scheibengraber (Alverno/Milwaukee School of Languages)] and just 2 new MPS graduates appear on 2013 rosters [Ogas and Elizabeth Terrones (Alverno/Milwaukee Reagan)].  Overall, 16 players on our 2012 watch list have called time on their college playing careers with 9 of 23 first-year players not returning for a second season.

Keep up-to-date with how these players do by following us on Twitter and Facebook, and by looking at our weekly schedule of matches.  We’re looking forward to great things from the more than 70 players on our list to date and wish them both team and individual success this fall.

Posted August 30, 2013 by Scott in Uncategorized

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College Pre-season Update   Leave a comment

For starters, we have made a few additions and tweaks to the website.  Our blueprint for the club is now on its own page and can be accessed from the menu bar on top.  In addition, we have updated a number of other pages on the site (About, Playing For Us, Opportunities), so check them out.

We are just three days away from NCAA Division I teams starting their 2013 playing seasons (NAIA schools also begin play this weekend) and we currently have 19 players between those two levels on our scouting list.  NCAA Division II and III schools are in the process of finalizing their rosters, but to date there are 25 players from those schools on our prospective scouting list, with movement to the final list coming once the rosters are posted by the schools.

We are expanding our reach a little bit this college season as it comes to players.  We did so for this past year’s Women’s Premier League team due to a lack of numbers from our original demographic and found that there were other underserved soccer communities in the counties surrounding Milwaukee that could benefit from access to higher-level competition and participation with MUSC.  Therefore, we are adjusting our initial criteria to a sliding scale as opposed to a rigid set of requirements.  We hope that this will encourage more players to reach out to us about playing in the summer and will result in a stronger organization going forward.

Next week, we will be posting our College Soccer Preview and listing some of our current players to watch for this year, along with others who are on our scouting list.  Keep your eyes open for it and if you are local, I hope you can make it to some matches this fall.