09/01/10 — Hisler: Trojan women have high expectations in 2010

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Hisler: Trojan women have high expectations in 2010

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on September 1, 2010 1:47 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Raised expectations.

That has been the theme of the preseason around the soccer field at Mount Olive College as the women's program gets set to kick off its 2010 season Thursday evening at UNC Pembroke.

Head coach Matt Hisler hopes that his squad is ready for three strong early-season tests.

"We have been working hard and I think that our new girls are really fitting in well," said Hisler. "We have three road games to start the season, so it's important that we get ourselves ready with a strong week of practice."

After the trip to Pembroke, the Trojans travel to Montreat College for a tournament where they will play Oklahoma Baptist and Truett McConnell.

The Trojans begin Conference Carolinas play Sept. 14. Widely regarded as one of the top soccer conferences in all of Division II athletics, Conference Carolinas boasts traditional powers at Pfeiffer University, Belmont Abbey and Queens.

Mount Olive was tabbed to finish sixth in the preseason coaches poll.

With 10 returning starters from the 2009 team, and 16 returners total, the Trojans are experienced despite having zero seniors on the roster.

"I think that experience will pay off for us because the girls know how to prepare for the season," said Hisler. "We have 10 girls that played major minutes last year and a good group of freshmen that can push them at practice."

Team captains Lyndsey McIntyre and Tia Rose will both be back in the fold at Amon Field this fall.

McIntyre will be the Trojans' starting keeper for the second consecutive season. The junior from Virginia started 18 games as a sophomore and tallied 92 saves. McIntyre posted five shutouts.

Rose will give up the her role as the team's primary offensive threat and move back to her original position at sweeper. Rose led the Trojans with six goals and 12 total points in 2009.

Mount Olive boasts a strong recruiting class which includes five freshman, one junior college transfer and one international transfer. Meagan Marie Robeson, a keeper from Southwest Onslow High School, highlights the class. Robeson led the Stallions to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A state championship in 2010 and earned all-state accolades.

Samantha Williams, also from SW Onslow, was named the most valuable player of the 1-A state championship game. Williams built a reputation in high school as a top-tier defender who could also bring the ball forward. She scored 10 goals during her career with the Stallions.

"We are very excited about the girls that we have coming in this year," said Hisler. "We feel like they can make this program better right away by bringing good energy and by pushing the older girls."

Getting 23 players on the same page has been Hisler's main task since practice began.

"With the new girls, we really wanted to push them to the limit physically the first couple weeks," said Hisler. "We have to know what they can do so that we know how to use them and how to make them feel comfortable."