Soccer faces Western Kentucky in exhibition
Aug. 14, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Vanderbilt's soccer team will face a stiff test in the lone exhibition match of the year against defending Sun Belt Conference champion Western Kentucky on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the WKU Soccer Complex.
The Hilltoppers return eight starters from last year's team that went 15-2-4 overall and 7-1-3 in Sun Belt action. Junior forward Amanda Buechel returns after scoring seven goals with seven assists, while sophomore goalkeeper Libby Stout (0.43 goals against average in 2008) returns after being named a Soccer Buzz freshman All-American a year ago. Her 0.924 save percentage was second best in the nation, and she also recorded a Sun Belt record 14 shutouts.
"I think the Western Kentucky match will allow us to evaluate where we are as a team right now and to see what we still need work on before we play Saint Louis on August 22," said Vanderbilt head coach Ronnie Woodard. "They have a very good club and we are also looking forward to playing someone other than ourselves."
The Commodores have nine starters back, including four of the top five scorers, led by All-SEC selection Molly Kinsella. The junior from Memphis scored eight goals with four assists a year ago and led the league in shots, shots per game, shots on goal and shots on goal per game.
Junior keeper Rachel Bachtel is back for her third season in net after recording 80 saves and five shutouts a year ago.
Coach Woodard will use several players at a variety of positions while also getting her first look at several freshmen.
"Right now we have a very competitive atmosphere where everyone is fighting for a starting spot, and I hope that we will see 11 rise to the top," said Woodard. "As a coach you couldn't have a better situation."
After the exhibition, the Commodores will kick off a five-match homestand starting with Saint Louis in the season opener on Saturday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m.
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