Mountain West Title Defense Begins Today For Women's Soccer
Aug. 3, 2016
The Mountain West (MW) championship title defense officially begins Wednesday for the San José State women's soccer team. Reigning MW Coach of the Year Lauren Hanson and the Spartans will be on the pitch for two-a-days over the next couple of weeks leading up to the team's first regular season match on August 19.
"You would hope that you carry momentum in (from last year's run)," Hanson said. "I told them this is a new season with a new team. Let's learn from what we did last year and carry that over, but at the same time it's a fresh start. It's one day at a time and we're moving forward with that same mentality of winning a Mountain West championship."
The Spartans took the practice field this morning with a loaded 28-player roster, including last year's top-two scorers Darriell Franklin (So., F, La Habra, Calif.) and Dorthe Hoppius (Jr., F, Dorsten, Germany).
The two young stars combined for seven game-winning goals during MW play in 2015. Hoppius was a first-team All-MW choice while Franklin was a second-team choice.
The team voted seniors Hayden Kelley (Sr., D, Murrieta, Calif.), Carley McBeath (Sr., MF/D, Northridge, Calif.), Claire Berkley (Jr., D, Pleasantan, Calif.) and Alexis Venegas (Sr., MF, Van Nuys, Calif.) to be captains during the 2016 season. McBeath and Venegas are four-year Spartans while Kelley and Orodpour begin their second season.
The new group replaces last year's captains, including MW Defensive Player of the Year Zoe Makrigiannis and two other All-MW players in Rachel Docherty and Darlene Rodriguez. The group was a large part of the success on the field as well as the continuity of the 2015 squad.
"They were a big part of our team last year and a big part of our heart," Hanson said. "The culture that has started here is remarkable, and we have nine returning players this year who are back and ready to raise the bar. That's the exciting part about all of this."
After an exhibition match at UC Davis on August 14, the Spartans will host UC Riverside on August 19 in the regular season opener. Fans can get another dose of SJSU women's soccer two days later when Sacramento State comes to town.
The full 2016 schedule includes nine home dates, four of which are held in the regular season's final month of October.
San José State women's soccer fans are encouraged to interact with the team throughout the season on Twitter (@sjsusoccer), Instagram (@sjsuwomenssoccer) and facebook (facebook.com/sjsuwsoc).