New coach for Tabor women?s soccer adds 12 new players

These four seniors will form the core of the Tabor College women?s soccer team this fall under first-year coach Ian Thomson. Pictured from left are Jessica Renzelman, Kalee Cross, Chelsea Brown and Anna Friesen. Renzelman was a second-team All-KCAC selection at forward and Friesen received honorable mention as a defender.With 12 new players on the Tabor College women?s soccer roster, first-year coach Ian Thomson will rely on the experience of nine returning athletes to guide the team this season.

Heading list are three All-KCAC returnees: senior forward Jessica Renzelman; senior defender Anna Friesen; and junior forward Nicole Stevenson, who returns after an ACL injury last season.

With so many new players, each returner will be important to the team?s success, Thomson said.

?Almost all of them will play an important role because they?re all over the field, and we?re so young,? he said.

Additional returners expected to contribute include senior defender Chel?sea Brown, senior goalkeeper Kalee Cross, junior midfielder Ashtyn Stephens and junior midfielder Amy Vaughan.

The 12 newcomers include transfers Hannah Simmons, Spring Jones and Lillian Bear, all sophomore midfielders; and freshmen Codi Metcalf (defender), Jordan Walters (defender), and Josie Patterson (defen?der, forward).

One challenge the team will face this season is its youth.

?We do have those players who are going to be important to us,? Thomson said. ?They?re going to give us some leadership, but we?re going to be young, especially at certain positions on the field. We?re going to have to grow up pretty fast.?

KCAC competition

Conference teams to watch include Ottawa, Kan?sas Wesleyan, Southwestern, Bethany, Sterling and McPher?son.

?The conference is always going to be good, but I would say, looking from the outside in, those are the teams that have made the most noise over the years,? Thomson said.

The Bluejays will try to improve on last season?s 3-6 KCAC record and 6-11 season record. Thomson said he is excited for the season.

?The girls have been working hard, and they?re really eager,? he said. ?I like this group, on and off the field. I think they?ve got a good chemistry so far.

?Hopefully, we can play well enough to get things done, but with a young group and being my first time (coaching at Tabor), it?s just going to be one of those things where we?ll see what happens, roll the ball out and go play and that?ll be that.?

Tabor has already played two scrimmages and was scheduled to open the season Sept. 3 with a home game against Avila with a 5 p.m. start.

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