UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich.- The Saginaw Valley State University women's soccer team was picked to finish fifth in 2021 by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference coaches in a preseason poll released Thursday.
The Cardinals are coming off a 2-7-0 campaign in the spring, closing with a GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal loss. The Cardinals played five games decided by one goal, falling in four.
SVSU returns its top goal scorer, sophomore forward Jenson Taylor. The Bay City, Mich., native scored three goals, playing in all nine games, starting seven. Taylor added one assist, finishing with seven points, while taking 15 shots, including eight on goal.
SVSU junior defender Carlee Davis will be back in 2021. She has started 16 career games for the Cardinals. Senior forward Amy Babon, from Livonia, Mich., has appeared in 46 games for SVSU in her career, scoring eight goals and tallying five assists. She will be counted on a leader for the Cardinals, who bring in several new faces in 2021.
Fellow senior Zo Schultz will also be a leader on the team. She has appeared in 64 games in her career at SVSU on defense. Andrea Lopez returns for her senior year. She has appeared in 25 games in her career, scoring two goals and adding two assists.
Michael O'Neill is entering his eighth season as head coach of the Cardinals with a career record of 63-46-8. He has twice led the Cardinals to the GLIAC Tournament Final and has two NCAA Tournament appearances (2014, 2018).
The Cardinals open the regular season against Truman State University in a non-conference matchup at 1 pm on Friday, Sept. 3 at Braddock Field in University Center, Mich.
All SVSU students who attend the first half of any of the games listed below will receive a complimentary SVSU Cardinals dri-fit t-shirt and SVSU face-covering (while supplies last). Items will be distributed at half-time on the lawn inside the gates of the outdoor athletic complex and between the football stadium and soccer fields.
Full preview with SVSU Head Coach Michael O'Neill below: