WINONA, Minn. – The Winona State soccer team, the preseason favorite to win the NSIC Championship,took to the practice field for the first time Monday morning in Winona.
Under bright early-morning sunshine, WSU head coach Ali Omar put his team through a seriesof drills and conditioning exercises to get the team's season underway.
"We are looking for big things from this group," Omar said. "Finishing second in the conferencelast year wasn't what we wanted, so we want to try to change that. The team looks good, they look in shape, and it shows that they put in the time over the summer."
The Warriors return many of the key cogs that helped the team post a 16-5 overall recordand 13-2 mark in NSIC play last season. Winona State received ten of a possible 16 first-place votes in the conference preseason poll, marking the 11th time since 2000 that the Warriors have been tabbed as the favorite to win the NSIC title.
All-region defenders Morgan LeFebvre, Rebecca McCoy and Kelsey Foss highlight a defense thatallowed just 14 goals a season ago. Offensively, ten of the 11 players who scored at least two goals in 2012 are back, led by the team's leading scorers Caitlin Lilly and Mehan Bolton.
Winona State will play three of its first four games of the season at home, beginning witha matchup against Central Missouri at 7 PM on Sept. 6.
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