Game Preview: Women's Soccer vs. Illinois College

Game Preview: Women's Soccer vs. Illinois College

Women's Soccer vs. Illinois College
Friday, August 31 | 3 p.m.
Spartan Athletic Park—Montgomery, Ill.

THE SERIES
• Babson and Illinois College will meet for the first time on Friday to open the 2018 season for both teams.

SCOUTING THE LADY BLUES
• Illinois College went 3-16-0 last season and is returning 13 players this fall, which includes two of its top four scorers from last season.
• Sophomore Mychaela Bennett was third on the team with three goals and four assists for 10 points, while junior Olivia Dobbs led the team in assists (5) and added one goal for seven points.
• Junior Charlotte Crofton posted a 2.90 goals against average, a .786 save percentage, and a total of 187 saves in 18 contests last fall.
• Illinois College, which was picked to finish ninth in the Midwest Conference preseason poll, lost eight straight games to end the year and scored just one goal over its final six matches.

SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
• Babson went 9-8-3 overall and 5-2-3 in league play, earning third place in the NEWMAC, and advanced to the conference semifinals for the fifth time in the last six years in 2017.
• The Beavers return 19 players, including four of their top five scorers from last year's squad. Seniors Emma Dineen (7-1-15) and Jessica Fernandes (3-3-9) combined to score 10 goals, while junior Maggie McCabe (4-3-11) tied for second on the team in assists.
• Senior Maddison Gierschick recorded five shutouts last fall posting a 1.36 goals against average, a .822 save percentage, and a total of 134 saves in 20 games.
• Babson, which went 6-1-2 last season in the month of October, was tied for third in the NEWMAC preseason poll earlier this week.

RETURN TO THE MIDWEST
• The Green and White is making its first trip to the Midwest since 2009, when it dropped matches to Sunday's opponent Aurora and the University of Chicago. The season-opening trip is also a homecoming for Dineen, who resides in the Chicago suburb of Hinsdale.

DEPENDABLE DEFENSE
• In addition to Gierschick, juniors Julia Janikies and Maya King and sophomore Scarlet Broderick all started at least 13 contests in 2017. The Beavers recorded three clean sheets and conceded just nine goals over their final 10 matches last year.

LIFE ON THE ROAD
• Friday's opener is the first of two games in the Chicagoland area over Labor Day weekend, and is part of Babson's five-game road trip to open the season. The Beavers travel to Brunswick, Maine, to face Bowdoin next Wednesday and will also visit Eastern Connecticut State and UMass Boston prior to their home opener on September 15.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• The Beavers are unbeaten in five straight season openers (3-0-2) going back to 2013.