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Spring Training In Full Swing For Ohio Soccer

Forward Liz Finley was one of three players to tally four goals in 2013 as the Ohio soccer team posted its highest scoring output in a decade.

April 2, 2014

ATHENS, Ohio - Second-year Ohio University soccer head coach Aaron Rodgers saw strides made by his program in his first season at the helm in 2013.

The Bobcats finished the regular season with their first non-losing record since 2009 (7-7-5) and posted five road victories - the most wins away from home for the program since 2004. Ohio tallied 26 goals in 2013 - the program's most in a decade.

Rodgers, his coaching staff of Allison Whitworth and Elizabeth Woerle and his team are far from satisfied, though, and constant improvement is a theme for a program in search of its first Mid-American Conference Championship since capturing the regular season crown in 2004.

That first step in preparations for the 2014 campaign has begun this semester with training in the weight room and fine-tuning tactics and technique on the playing fields in Walter Fieldhouse and at Peden Stadium.

Challenges await the Bobcats in the new year as Rodgers looks to fill the void left by departing seniors Maggie Murnane (Libertyville, Ill.) and Mattie Liston (Lakewood, Ohio).

Murnane garnered Team Most Valuable Player honors after starting 19 of 20 games and logging 1,331 minutes while serving as team captain. The midfielder/forward tied for fourth on the team with eight points, tallying three goals and two assists. She also ranked second on the team with 17 shots on goal. An exercise physiology major with a 3.93 overall grade point average, Murnane earned a spot on both the 2013 Academic All-MAC team and the Academic All-Ohio NCAA Division I Third Team.

Liston departs as the most decorated goalkeeper in program history, totaling 403 saves (fifth in league history). She tallied 26 wins in net and posted 20 career shutouts.

Fortunately for the 'Cats, five of the team's top six goal scorers return in 2014 - including Liz Finley (Mason, Ohio), All-MAC Freshman Team selection Alexis Milesky (Plain City, Ohio), Holly Harris (Batavia, Ohio), Carly Manso (Vernon Hills, Ill.) and Allison Cislo (Crownsville, Md.).

Defensively, Gabby Hausfeld (Cincinnati, Ohio) is back in the mix and will take on an increased leadership role as team captain. Tonya Frasik (Lebanon, Ohio), Grace Campbell (Wadsworth, Ohio) and Leah Sandercock (Strongsville, Ohio) also return to help slow down the opposition's attack while Nicole Amari (Vernon Hills, Ill.) and Rachel Fryan (Racine, Wis.) will compete for the starting gig in goal.

The Bobcats will add eight new student-athletes to the mix in the fall, welcoming forward/midfielder Allison Curry (Fairfield, Ohio), defender Celeste Fushimi-Karns (Dublin, Ohio), defender Lauren Heger (Liberty Township, Ohio), forward Hannah Jaggers (Taylorsville, Ky.), goalkeeper Brooke Mauro (Cincinnati, Ohio), defender/midfielder Kaitlyn McCurley (Lake Zurich, Ill.), defender/midfielder Megan Niebuhr (Cincinnati, Ohio) and forward/midfielder Kelley Zebrowski (Powell, Ohio).

Ohio will unveil its 2014 schedule later this spring.