Season Recap: Ladies Soccer Builds Foundation with 2011 Success
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
A team effort all season long by the Centenary women's soccer team propelled them to new heights and high hopes for the future of the program.

It was a season that opened strong, reached a rough patch, but then bounced back to win six of their next seven games, finishing the year at 10-8-1. Under long-time Hall of Fame coach Glenn Evans, the Ladies used senior leadership, contributions from most, and a desire to fight and a will to win to cap off what proved to be the second most successful season in seven years.

At 10-8-1, the Ladies recorded just their second winning season and 10-win season in seven years. The 2009 season when Centenary notched an overall record of 11-6-1 was the other most notable season since 2004.

"I am very satisfied with a winning season. We didn't really know what to expect moving into the new conference and playing against teams we had never faced before, but the Ladies played hard and with a lot of heart," said Evans. "We definitely proved we could be a force in Division III."

Centenary finished 7-4 at home on Mayo Field this season, outscoring its opponents 25-13 in Shreveport. The biggest win at home came in a 2-1 overtime win over then-undefeated ETBU, giving the Tigers their first loss of the 2011 season back on Oct. 1. Of the seven home wins, five were shutouts by the Ladies. Centenary also hosted defending National Champions Hardin-Simmons on Oct. 8. Despite falling 2-0, the Ladies were able to handle HSU and keep them within reach.

"In my mind, our amazing effort against the NCAA D-III Defending National Champion (Hardin Simmons) was an amazing feat. Although it was a 0-2 loss, we proved to everyone and to ourselves, that we could play with the best," said Evans.

Centenary rosters 19 on the team and 12 contributed some way offensively for the Ladies, which proved to be an overall team effort. 10 Ladies notched goals, led by junior Holden Penney with 13, followed by junior Courtney Cleveland with six and senior Candace Rushing and junior Traci Lee with four apiece. All 10 who scored also notched an assist, while two others contributed with successful passes to make 12 in the assist column.

Soccer has little stats and all come from the offensive end when you look at the final box scores, though it was the Centenary defense that undoubtedly kept opponents with few offensive numbers and allowed the Ladies to earn seven shutouts this season. Centenary outscored its opponents this season, 36 to 31.

You always home seniors step up and guide a team to success when you are fan or even a coach. Watching the Centenary Ladies, there is no question that the four seniors did just that. Seniors Candace Rushing (4 G/5 A/13 pts), Eren Corapcioglu (Defense/1 A), Laura Immenschuh (Defense/2 G/1 A/5 pts), and Catlin Orschel made a strong contribution to the 2011 team.

"Our defense kept us in most of our games. The senior leadership in our back line has to be credited for much of our success," said Evans. "Too bad our season had to end as our offensive players began to really make an impact on the game."

Junior Holden Penney showcased an impressive season, leading the team in all offensive categories. She notched career-bests in goals with 13, assists with eight, points with 34 and game-winning goals with seven. The Laguna Beach, Calif. native fired off a .590 shot on goal percentage as 36 of her 61 shots landed on goal. Because of her strong numbers, she now ranks in the Top 10 in single season records: 1st in game-winning goals (7), sixth in points scored (34), T-6th in assists (8) and T-7th in goals (13). She also performed her first career hat trick in the final game of the season, tallying three of the Ladies' five goals in a 5-0 win over Ozarks on the road. On Senior Day, Penney also recorded two late goals to force the game into overtime after tying it a 2-2 (having been down 2-0 late) against Howard Payne. The Ladies eventually fell 3-2 in overtime.

Freshman goal keeper Brittaney Dunn played every minute of every game this season in goal as the Ladies' only keeper on the roster of 19. She tallied 1,764 minutes in goal in 19 games played The Willard, Missouri native made 116 saves, making her third all-time in single-season records. She recorded a .789 save percentage and a 10-8-1 record with seven shutouts, which also ranks her in sixth all-time in single-season records.

Head Coach Glenn Evans was recently inducted in to the 2011 Centenary Athletic Hall of Fame class for his long-time commitment and success as a head coach and "pioneer of Centenary Soccer." Evans accumulated a winning record with the Ladies at 80-47-4 in six seasons. He just finished his second consecutive season after breaking for Administrative Roles prior. The 2011 season marked his fourth 10-win season of his career with the Ladies.

With the 2011 at a close, Evans and the returning Ladies are eager to continue what this team did and build and prepare for another successful season in 2012.

"With our returnees, our strength will be in our midfield and forwards for next season," said Evans. Returning our leading scorer from this season in junior Holden Penney will be a huge plus. We have some verbal commitments from some very talented players that will really help on the offensive side of the ball next season."