COLUMBUS, Ohio — The 2017 regular season begins at Panther Stadium for Ohio Dominican's women's soccer team this week, as ODU will host Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) members Quincy and Truman State in non-conference matchups to start the year.
The Panthers will face Quincy on Thursday, August 31 at 5 p.m. before welcoming No. 11 Truman to Sunbury Road on Saturday, September 2 at 12 p.m.
About Ohio Dominican
One year removed from a fourth-place finish in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) regular season standings and conference tournament semifinal appearance, the Panthers enter a new era under second-year head coach Aimee Haywood, as they prepare for competition in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. The squad opens Great Midwest play on Wednesday, September 6 with a match against former GLIAC foe Findlay and will follow it up with road, non-conference matches against Saginaw Valley and Northwood.
First on deck for the Panthers are Quincy and Truman. ODU and Quincy finished in a 1-1 (2OT) draw in 2016 and the Panthers dropped a closely-contested, 1-0 match on the road to 2016 GLVC regular season champion Truman. Sophomore Becca Gordon (Johnstown, Ohio) notched her first goal as a Panther on the two-game road trip to earn the draw with Quincy and returns to the lineup in 2017 after overcoming a season-ending injury a year ago.
Senior Alli Pavlik (Cortland, Ohio) will also look to find the back of the net for the Panthers this week after notching nine goals last season. Juniors Allie Atkinson (Ontario, Ohio) and Susan D'Isidoro (Twinsburg, Ohio) return after finishing with two goals and four assists apiece in 2016, and senior Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio) will look to make an impact in the Panthers' midfield after notching 1,089 points on the hardwood for ODU women's basketball.
Goalkeepers Marissa Wierzbicki (Powell, Ohio) and Kelsey Harris (Mason, Ohio) return plenty of experience between the posts for ODU, and the two keepers combined for 13 saves in their 2016 matches with Quincy and Truman.
The Hawks were tabbed sixth in the 2017 GLVC preseason coaches poll and return seven seniors and nine starters to a squad that earned six GLVC wins last season. 2016 All-GLVC performers Abby Pulliam and Natalie Quisenberry will anchor the squad under 12th-year head coach Dave Musso.
QU will take on ODU before making the trip up I-71 to face Ashland. The Hawks' match with Ohio Dominican will be just the second all-time meeting between the two teams.
The Bulldogs enter the season 11th in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll and were picked to win the GLVC in the preseason coaches poll conducted by the conference.
Truman was staunch defensively in 2016, allowing just seven goals in 21 matches. TSU is led by 2016 GLVC defensive player of the year, senior goalkeeper Katie Mattingly, who boasts 33.5 career shutouts. Mattingly and defenders Laura Ney and Caity Schmitt return after earning first team All-GLVC honors last season.
TSU will travel to Ashland to face the Eagles before making the trip to Columbus on Saturday.
Contact: Aaron McPherson