In its first season of existence as a club sport, the Mount Vernon Nazarene College women's soccer team posted a successful 4-7-1 record as the Lady Cougars wrapped up their 1999 campaign.
"We had a successful season and a lot of that was due to the team's determination and hard work," said head coach Jonathan Meade. "We pleasantly surprised people throughout the season."
After opening the year with a 5-0 loss to a very good Walsh University team, MVNC traveled to Urbana University for what would prove to be an exciting match. Freshman midfielder Kelly Evans scored the program's first goal in the match against the Blue Knights, but the Lady Cougars fell 2-1 on a last minute goal in double overtime.
After dropping a 5-2 decision at Cedarville College, MVNC geared up for the team's first-ever home match against Shawnee State University. The Lady Cougars romped past the Lady Bears 8-0 for their first win and their first shutout. Evans posted the first hat trick in school history with three goals, while Amy Seiffert, Lynne Kaufman, Shauna Dickinson, Stephanie White, and Holly Shuler added one goal apiece.
MVNC followed up that performance with another strong effort at crosstown rival Kenyon College. The Lady Cougars held the Ladies scoreless for their second straight shutout as the two teams battled to a 0-0 draw.
After a 3-0 loss at home to Notre Dame College, MVNC picked up its second win of the season with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Cincinnati State Technical College as Shuler and Seiffert each scored a second-half goal off assists from Shannon Poole.
The Lady Cougars dropped their next two road matches at Tiffin University, the American Mideast Conference champions, and at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown. However, MVNC rebounded with a 4-0 victory at Salem-Teikyo (WV) University as Kaufman scored two goals and Shuler and Dickinson added a goal each.
Following a loss at home to Seton Hill (PA) College, one of the top teams in NAIA Region IX, the Lady Cougars closed out their season on a winning note with a 2-1 victory at Shawnee State. Seiffert and Evans each scored for MVNC.
"I was very pleased with the outcome of our season," said Meade. "We stayed positive throughout the season, and we continued to improve our skills from match to match."
Individually, several players posted good numbers on the season. Evans led the team with six goals and 15 points in her first collegiate season. Seiffert was the team leader with five assists to go along with three goals and 11 points. Kaufman scored four goals, while Shuler added three goals. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Lybarger also posted 170 saves and two shutouts as she recorded a 2.67 goals against average.
The women's soccer program will now move to varsity status for the 2000 season, and the Lady Cougars will compete in the AMC. Meade feels that the team should be able to compete right away in the conference. "There are a lot of new programs in the AMC and I think that we can finish in the middle of the pack," he said. "I want to be competitive with those teams."
"People will overlook us next season because they do not know much about us," added Meade. "We are very optimistic about next season, and we will sneak up on some teams."