COSTA MESA, Calif. – The women's soccer squad is wrapping up the first week of training camp, featuring double day practices. Vanguard's goal is once again to compete for the GSAC crown and reach the NAIA National Tournament. A season ago, the Lions captured the Golden State Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships before advancing to the NAIA Quarterfinals for the second time in school history. Their 18 wins tied a program high and was done across a 19 game period.
Last year, Erica Wadell (SR/Yucaipa, CA) and Kristen Lum were recognized for being NAIA and GSAC Scholar Athletes awarded to student-athletes with a 3.50 GPA or better. Madison Lopp (SR/Anaheim, CA), Haley Bruce (JR/San Diego, CA), and Haley Magana (SO/Los Alamitos, CA) were named NAIA All-American Honorable Mention's as well as All-GSAC performers. Lauren Aronson (SR/Henderson, NV) guided the backline of the defense to 16 shutouts and earned her a spot on the All-GSAC team as well. Head coach Randy Dodge was named GSAC Co-Coach of the Year and NSCAA 2016 Regional Coach of the Year.
Lopp led the offensive the Pride who ended the year ranked fourth in the country and tied with the 2012 team for the most successful season in program history. She fired off 56 total shots (2.55 per game) and put 34 attempts on frame (1.55 per game). She posted 11 goals in 22 games – a team high, three of which proved to be game winners. Lopp also recorded a hat trick in the first half of the Lions Opening Round victory. Magana, a first year player for the Blue and Gold, was dominant in goal recording 61 total saves on her way to 16 shutout victories. She was second in the NAIA with a .300 goals against ratio. Magana averaged 2.90 saves per game in her 21 outings. Bruce guided a dominant midfield this season, impacting the game on both the offensive and defensive portions of the field. Offensively, she tallied five goals and added six assists. Two of her goals went down as game winning strikes. Her 16 points ranked second on the team, trailing only Lopp. Bruce also led the corner kick attack for Vanguard who held a 113-66 edge in that category.
This season, the Lions will mix in 10 fresh faces across three categories. First, the incoming freshmen of the group are Callie Wolfenden (FR/Manila, Philippines), Maddie Luna (FR/San Pedro, CA), Ayana Suarez (FR/Indio, CA), Anna Montemor (FR/Snohomish, WA), Emily Miramontes (FR/Fullerton, CA), and Tess Dodge (FR/Aliso Viejo, CA). The transfer group features Amanda Valentine (JR/Livermore, CA) and Kiera Muniz (JR/Stockton, CA) who will be looked at to contribute from the jump. Lastly, elevated redshirts Malia Tilton (JR/Orange, CA) and Sabrina Spink (JR/Bakersfield, CA) will aim to capitalize on their year inside the program to make impacts in games as well as the practice field.
The action gets underway this Saturday with the Blue/Gold Alumni game kicking off at 2:00 p.m. After a pair of scrimmages, the countable contests kick off on August 28th at 12:00 p.m. against Eastern Oregon University.