Sunday, November 10, 2002
Cougars Place 3rd in NSIC Womens Soccer Tournament
By Brian Curtis
The 2002 University of Minnesota, Morris womenís soccer season came to an end on Saturday November 9 when they defeated Southwest State University 3-2 in overtime to win the 2002 NSIC Womenís Soccer Tournament third place game and capped off the best season in the programís five-year history.
That game was also a milestone as it would be the last game in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference for Cougar soccer. UMM will be joining the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) in 2003.
The Cougars finished the season with a 13-7-2 record overall, the most wins for a Cougar soccer team. The previous best was in 2000 when Minnesota, Morris went 8-13-0. UMM was also 6-2-1 in the NSIC, the best conference record since a 5-4-0 NSIC record also in 2000.
The 2002 season also saw the Cougars score the most goals, (53), give up the fewest goals, (29), and record the most shutouts, (10).
Junior Rebecca Witters (Colorado Springs, CO) had the fastest goal ever in a Cougar soccer game. She scored just :32 into the game at Wayne State College on October 5.
Witters is also number one in three career categories already, career goals, points and assists. She is currently second in career games played. Witters finished the year with 14 goals, nine assists and 37 points.
During the season Rebecca was name Offensive Player of the Week one time and was named first team All-Conference for the third straight year.
Mari Sandom (Hudson, WI) set the single season record for game winning goals at 6. Sandom has her named etched in the Cougar soccer record book a number of times as well. She is second in career points and career goals.
An Honorable Mention All-Conference pick last year, Sandom was named first team All-Conference and was named as the Offensive Player of the Week once this season.
Freshman goalkeeper Kaylee Marone (Sioux Falls, SD) is now number one in career shutouts and career goals against average. Number two in career minutes for goalkeepers, and career wins and she is third in career saves.
Marone set single season records for shutouts with six and season wins at nine and was named the NSIC Soccer Defensive Player of the Week twice.
The Cougars also had freshman Christina Whitaker named Honorable Mention All-Conference this year.
The Cougars were picked seventh in the 2002 NSIC Soccer Coaches Pre-Season Poll and finished third both in regular season play and with the 3-2 overtime win over Southwest State in the NSIC cup third place game.
Other firsts for the Minnesota, Morris soccer team in 2002: The first ever playoff home game, the first ever play win(s) and the first year on the new field at the beautiful Cougar Soccer Complex.
The Cougars will lose one very valuable senior in Krista Wynn (St. Paul, MN). Wynn is also responsible for another first in Cougar soccer. She was the first player to ever sign a letter of Intent to play soccer at UMM.
Wynn, a Co-Captain this year, made an immediate impact in more ways than one when she arrived at Minnesota, Morris. Over her four year career she started in 75 career games, most ever in a Cougar Uniform and she played in 82 total over her career.
With 10 starters returning plus a solid group on the bench, the success the team had this year and the move to the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference next year, the future looks very bright for the University of Minnesota, Morris soccer program.