TIFFIN, Ohio - Tiffin women's soccer will open the 2019 campaign with nonconference home games against Northwood on Friday and Lewis on Sunday.
Tiffin looks to rebound from a 2018 season that saw the Dragons post a 2-15-1 overall record and 2-11-1 GMAC mark, and will try to get back to 2017 form when TU went 6-3 in GLIAC play and reached the conference semifinals. The 2017 season was also the last time that the Tiffin and Northwood faced each other, with TU taking a 2-1 victory at home on Oct. 20. Current Dragons that appeared in that contest include Sierra Besecker and Leila Hannoui (one shot). Tiffin's last matchup with Lewis also came in 2017, but it was the Flyers who came away victorious 2-1 on Sept. 4. Besecker tallied an assist and Hannoui another shot in that contest.
The Dragons lost the bulk of their 2018 scoring with the departures of seniors Alli McCabe, Carla Briscoe, and Valerie Brown. Sophomore Kaelyn Harkness is the top returner with three points (one goal, one assist) and Lauryn Grcic (one goal) is the other returner that tallied last season. They will look to carry the scoring in 2019, joined by Hannoui (one assist) and Kaylee Neura (one assist). Besecker is also back after appearing in 17 of 18 games last year.
Other returners with significant minutes include Jamie Intihar and McKenna Crutchfield. Head Coach Melissa Bigg has also brought over a dozen newcomers to the squad that will look to compete for playing time and provide valuable minutes for the Dragons.
Scouting the Timberwolves:
Northwood had a down year in 2018 as well, finishing 2-13-1 overall and 1-7-1 in GLIAC play, including dropping each of their last seven matches.
Nearly everyone is back for the Timberwolves, though, as only one senior graduated that played siginificant minutes in 2018. Senior Karina Parker led NU last year with two goals and one assist apiece, followed by sophomore Jillian Hon and senior Katelyn Wilkowski each with two goals. Talene Nercesian and Jessica Piper both also contributed a goal last season.
Bridget Adams returns as Northwood's primary keeper, having played over 1100 minutes last season and posting a 1.82 goals against average and .739 save percentage in 14 starts.
Scouting the Flyers:
Lewis had a good season in 2018, going 9-7-2 overall and 8-5-0 in the GLVC, reaching the conference tournament as the eight-seed but falling to top-seeded Truman in the quarterfinals.
Top goal-scorer Kailey Parnello returns for her senior season after notching eight goals and two assists in 2018. Fellow senior Mallory Richardson is back after tallying ten assists last year, along with junior Cali Havelka-Vanderplow (three goals, one assists) and senior Karlie Cummins (three goals).
The Flyers return a pair of keepers that saw nearly the same amount of minutes last season in senior Bri Riscossa (808 min., 1.34 GAA, .745 save %) and sophomore Lucy Clark (876 min., 1.13 GAA, .725 save %).