BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University women's soccer team led by fifth-year head coach Jim Wojtkun are aiming for a return to the Ohio Athletic Conference playoffs, as the 2021 season kicks off in two weeks.
Last season, BW finished with an overall record of 4-5 and a record of 4-5 in the OAC during its conference only 2021 spring season. The squad retuned to the conference postseason tournament for the sixth consecutive year. Wojtkun returns 18 letterwinners, seven seniors, five juniors, 11 sophomores, and brings in 11 newcomers, including two transfers.
The young attacking group will be led by Academic All-OAC senior Michelina Rush (North Huntingdon, Pa./Norwin) and sophomores Bailey Hall (Lewis Center/Olentangy) and Kasey Golaboff (Parma Heights/Valley Forge). The group will be bolstered by incoming transfer Sydney Rice (North Royalton) and freshmen Natalie Stewart (Blacklick/Gahanna Lincoln) and Ella Barth (Cleveland/Mayfield).
The veteran midfield looks to be all over the field this season. Leading the charge will be Academic All-OAC senior Maddie Farrell (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) who was second on the team with two goals in the spring and tied for the team lead in shots. The Yellow Jackets will also receive contributions from Academic All-OAC seniors Olivia Kane (Hilliard/Darby) and Margaux Duvall (Avon Lake), senior Bella Reigle (Niles/McKinley), Academic All-OAC junior Brandi Filippi (Pickerington/North), sophomores Jenna Eitel (Dellwood, Minn./Mahtomedi), Ruthie Curry (Westerville/South), Alissa Scattino (Girard/Warren John F. Kennedy) and Jillian Neal (Fairlawn/Copley). Looking to make an immediate impact will be freshmen Nina Lafko (Tarentum, Pa./Deer Lakes), Sophia Stark (Wheeling, W.Va./Linsly), and Alicia Watling (Torrance, Calif.).
The back line will be led by senior All-OAC Honorable Mention and Academic All-OAC Amanda Donahue (Morrow/Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy). Fortifying the line will be Academic All-OAC seniors Anna Wenzinger (Columbus/Bishop Watterson) and Aundrea Scattino (Girard/Niles McKinley), junior Academic All-OAC Paige Phillips (Cuyahoga Falls), juniors Lizzy Stackhouse (Powell/Olentangy Liberty) and Caley DeHass (Troy/Tippecanoe), sophomores Anna Wolfinger (Wadsworth), Hannah Bercsik (Uniontown), Ellie Pinar (Crestwood, Ky./South Oldham), Liv McIntyre (Pendleton, Ind.), and Gabby Lemon (Cambridge/John Glenn). BW will receive defensive assistance from sophomore transfer Elisa Bingle (Beaver, Pa./Beaver Area), sophomore Cassidy Haines (Wickliffe), and freshmen Kayleigh Neale (Holley, N.Y.), Julie Dunlap (North Canton/Hoover), and Hailey Schwade (Lewis Center/Olentangy Orange).
The goalkeeping duties will be the biggest competition of the preseason camp. Junior Maddie Hofmann (Olmstead Township/Olmsted Falls) returns as the incumbent starter but is going to get stiff competition from freshmen Abbey Pheiffer (Northville, Mich./Novi), Katie Scott (Lewis Center/Olentangy), and Darcy Schoen (Chicago, Ill./Saint Ignatius College Prep). Hofmann a year ago led the team to a 4-3 record and two shutouts with 23 saves.
BW begins the season on the road, as they travel to Michigan to take on Kalamazoo College on Wednesday, September 1, at 6:00 pm. The Yellow Jackets home opener takes place on Wednesday, September 8 against non-conference opponent Oberlin College. OAC play kicks off on the road against Capital University on Saturday, October 2.