Date Posted:09/06/2006,  1:30PM

2006 Women's Soccer Preview

HEAD COACHES: John Cullen (22nd season), Katie Sheridan (2nd season)

LEADING RETURNERS: Ann Zeigler (10 goals, four assists), Kat Whitley (four goals, five assists), Ivy Blackmore (four goals, three assists), Bobbi Dennison (midfield), Grace Moore (defense), Emily Swaim (defense), Holly Maloney (defense)

NEWCOMERS: Dana Riker, Sarah Ebel, Sarah Hurley, Daniella Marias, Kim Naton, Kit Hamley, Larkin Brown, Maura Cusick

2005 RECAP (10-4-1): Bowdoin finished third in the NESCAC Standings in 2005 and reached the NESCAC Semifinals with a 5-1 victory over Middlebury in the First-Round of the Conference Tournament. The Polar Bears ended the year with a record of 10-4-1, reaching double-figures in victories for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. Kelsey Wilcox '06 and Ann Zeigler '08 earned First-Team All-NESCAC selections, while Kat Whitley '08 and Anna Shapell '06 grabbed Second-Team nods. Zeigler also received All-New England recognition and was selected as a Third-Team All-American.

2006 PREVIEW: Relying on a handful of underclassmen last season will hopefully pay off in a big way for the Polar Bears this fall. Bowdoin returns their top three scorers- Zeigler, Whitley and Blackmore (two juniors and a senior), while Dennison will likely continue to control the midfield. The squad will be breaking-in a new full-time netminder, with sophomore Kelly Thomas and junior Kat Popoff battling for time between the pipes. Upperclassmen defenders Grace Moore and Holly Maloney will continue to anchor the defensive unit from the fullback position.

The NESCAC, as usual, is stacked with highly-talented squads as Bowdoin will attempt to continue their streak as the only conference team to have reached the semifinals of the conference tournament in each of its six years in existence. The Polar Bears open with back-to-back games against Bridgewater State (Sept. 9) and Babson (Sept. 10) to be followed by key games against rivals Colby (Sept. 16) and Bates (Sept. 20) in the coming weeks.

DID YOU KNOW?: Ann Zeigler earned Third-Team All-American honors last season for Bowdoin after a stellar sophomore campaign. In the process, she became just the second sophomore in the storied history of Bowdoin women's soccer to earn NSCAA All-American recognition. Cyndy Falwell '98 earned First-Team All-American honors in 1995 after her sophomore season.

COACH CULLEN SAYS: "Offensively, we return a lot and are looking for our forwards to be the strength of the team. We have some holes to fill defensively, and they are a bunch of great battles going on right now for playing time at those positions."