Each day this week University of Dayton head coach Mike Tucker will give fans a position breakdown of the UD goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards leading up to the Flyers’ regular season opener against Middle Tennessee State this Friday, Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
UD returns home to host Cal-Poly Sunday, Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. at Baujan Field. Admission is free to all UD regular season soccer games at Baujan Field.
In addition to the position breakdown, Tucker will also talk about the incoming freshmen, the senior leadership, the tough schedule, the Atlantic 10, UD’s tradition of winning, and goals for the season.
Today Tucker talks about the Flyer defense, a squad that posted 14 shutouts last season. He also talks about the team’s goals for this season.
4 Emily Kenyon
6 Alysha Mallon
7 Chelsea Rose
11 Allison Klinefelter
Mt. Lebanon, Pa.
13 Kathleen Beljan
16 Melissa DeWitt
17 Kelsey Miller
25 Meghan Scharer
26 Nicole Peterson
Federal Way, Wash.
28 Lindsay Silva
“Our defense, for the most part, has been together now going on their fourth year. They know each other so well. They have performed at an extremely high level every game. You have to start with the rock in the middle, Kelsey Miller. I think she is a very overlooked player in our league and nationally. She is a tremendous player and a leader in the back. We’re going to play a bit more with four in the back and Emily Kenyon will probably be our other center back at this time. Emily is Ms. Versatility. She can play anywhere and has had great moments on the back line. Over on the left side is Kathleen Beljan. She is as good as it gets. She’s as good as a defender as we’ve ever had in the back. She gives us the luxury of being able to go forward and get into the attack.
"We’ve got a couple of great options at right back. Alysha Mallon has played a lot there and done very well. We’re also going to use her a little bit as an outside mid this year. One of the great improved players so far this year is Meghan Scharer and she will start at right back for us. She obviously did a lot of work during the summer and is playing very, very well right now. We’ve got some freshmen that have performed well too. Alli Klinefelter will play a lot for us. She’s at the top of the freshman list for defense. The other frosh have done a good job as well.”
2011 Team Goals
"NCAA is our first goal always. For the last two years, not only to be playing, but to advance, is proof to the girls that it can be done and is also a little motivation to take it a step or two further now. That’s what we’re working towards. Two years ago we had six draws and record-wise it was not as good as we would have preferred. Last year we finished the year very strong on a pretty long unbeaten streak.
"The motivation for this year, with a whole new group, is to put this together and get back to that point. The only change in our goals is we’re tired of just getting to the second round. We’ve been to the Sweet 16 and that’s a great feeling. We want to get back there as a minimum. You don’t get that by saying it. We’ve got a lot of work to do. You raise your expectations based on your talent level and your past experiences so we are looking to take that next step.”
Check back tomorrow for Tucker's take on his midfield and captains.