The Trinity Western Spartans are aiming big once again in 2016. The women's soccer has appeared in four straight CIS national championship games, winning the ultimate prize in both 2012 and 2013.

As always, gold the goal for Spartans soccer team

Trinity Western women's soccer team opens season ranked third nationally

The Trinity Western Spartans women’s team is used to not only advancing to the CIS national championships, but playing in the gold-medal game.

In six of the past eight years, the women’s soccer team has played in the championship game, but after winning national titles in 2008 and 2009 and then again in 2012 and 2013, the Spartans have come up short in each of the past two seasons.

For a program built on success of the highest degree, this year’s team is squarely focused on getting back to the dance and this time finishing on top. And there’s no reason to believe the Spartans aren’t capable of doing just that.

In goal, the Spartans boast arguably the best goalkeeper in the country in fifth-year keeper Ally Williamson. The Langley product started all 21 games in 2015 for TWU and earned 13 clean sheets.

The defensive line will once again be one of the team’s strengths with a veteran core that includes Amy Gartke and Lindsey Pulice on the outside and Steph Chin helping in the middle.

Brooklyn Tidder will add some height in the middle and rookie Kristen Sakaki is expected to push for some minutes.

In the midfield, the Spartans lost their leading goal scorer to graduation, but a pair of second-year players, Jenaya Robertson and Rachel Hutchinson, are expected to pick up the slack. Hutchinson was the CIS rookie of the year last year. Kat Chin and Leanne Verhoeff are also expected to play more prominent roles.

With the forwards, Isabella Di Trocchio and Seina Kashima are expected to guide the Spartans offence.

The speedy Kashima finished tied for second in Canada West conference play with seven assists last season and has looked impressive this pre-season. Di Trocchio scored four goals in 2015 and will be counted on to build off that success.

The Spartans, who are ranked third nationally entering the season, open the Canada West conference play with a game on Sept. 2 in Abbotsford against the UFV Cascades.

The team’s home opener is not until Sept. 16.

 

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