2014 Season Preview   Leave a comment

Milwaukee United Soccer Club’s second season in Wisconsin’s Women’s Premier League begins this Saturday.  After an inaugural campaign which saw MUSC finish 2-3-1 and middle of the pack in the WPL’s South division, the front office worked in the off-season to add depth for the 2014 season.  With 14 newcomers joining 10 members of last season’s team, this year’s version of the Owls offers greater competition up and down the roster and greater positional flexibility on the field.  The 24 women on the opening day roster come to Milwaukee United from 10 colleges and universities in the Midwest and 15 different high schools in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Milwaukee United SC underwent a number of off-the-field changes this past fall and winter, not the least of which was handing the coaching reins for the WPL team to 2013 co-scoring leader Brenda Hernandez.  A four-year starter at Cardinal Stritch University, Hernandez led by example on last year’s team through tireless play and the willingness to do whatever was necessary to help the team achieve on the field.  Hernandez will be a player/coach this year, with administrative and on-the-field help coming from the front office and other post-college players on the team to make things flow in training and on game day.

This year’s captain is returning defender Katherine Oleniczak (St. Norbert College/Wauwatosa East), with incoming midfielder/forward Maria Stephans (UW-Milwaukee/Hartford) serving as her assistant.  Up front, the Owls have added three-time all-Midwest Conference selection Brandi Peltier (Ripon College/Hustisford) and Stephans to a returning core of players that accounted for 40% of last season’s scoring and 47% of last year’s points.  The team’s midfield contingent includes newcomers Katelyn Hronek (Lake Forest College/Wauwatosa West) and Anna Stadler (Cardinal Stritch University/Wauwatosa West) along with 2013 Most Improved Players Neysel Powell (Alverno College/Milwaukee School of Languages) and Heidi Hetzel (UW-Oshkosh/Sheboygan South).  The largest influx of talent comes on defense, with three members of Cardinal Stritch’s backline (Danielle Doucette, Michelle Peltz, and Samantha Read) coming aboard to join returning stalwarts Oleniczak and Kaitlin Malliet (St. Norbert College/DSHA).  In goal, the team will have the services of Kara Casebolt (Cardinal Stritch University/Racine Horlick) and Kristy Leopold (Southwest Minnesota State/Nicolet).

The Women’s Premier League will see 15 teams compete for the state championship across three divisions (North, South, and West), with Milwaukee United SC playing in the South division against a pair of teams from Croatian Eagles SC (Majors and U23), Racine United WPL, and Milwaukee Sport Club U23.  This season’s expectations are: to contend for the division title and make the four-team statewide playoffs; to have players improve both technically and tactically in their natural positions as well as develop increased playing ability in other positions on the field; and to offer our community a positive set of role models for future generations of players.  Given the additions to last year’s squad and the move to a more possession-oriented game that involves more players on the offensive side of the ball, we believe those goals are quite attainable.  Join us on Saturday at 11am at Doyne Park (53rd and Wells St. in Milwaukee) for the season opener against Racine United, where the Owls will seek to start 2014 on the front foot and begin the climb to a league title.



Posted June 12, 2014 by Scott in Uncategorized

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