|BLUE DRAGON SOCCER|
Hutchinson (0-0) vs. Northeast Nebraska (1-0)
Hutchinson vs. Trinidad State (0-0)
HCC Sports Information
Sammy Lane, the only head coach in Hutchinson Community College women's soccer history, has done nothing but win with the Blue Dragons.
Hutchinson has never had a losing season, never missed a Region VI Tournament semifinal and has compiled 180 total victories, five conference championships and three Region VI titles in the first 12 seasons.
The 2017 Blue Dragons look to go where no past Blue Dragon team has gone – the NJCAA national Tournament.
Hutchinson opens the new season on Friday Northeast Nebraska at 5 p.m. at the Salthawk Sports Complex and will play Trinidad State at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The Blue Dragons were 17-2 last season and had one of the most prolific offenses in team history. But the season came to an abrupt end in the Region VI Tournament semifinals to Johnson County. The Dragons haven't won the regional tournament since 2011.
Lane will re-tool the Blue Dragon lineup in 2017. Gone is the three-headed scoring monster of All-American Jordan Downing, Jazmin Hartshorn and Sheena Nichol, who combined for 89 goals and 58 assists last season.
Only Nichol – an all-conference and all-region player who had 27 goals and 13 assists as a freshman – is back from that group.
In all, the Blue Dragons return eight players from 2016. Offensively last season, Hutchinson averaged 7.0 goals per game and outscored its opponents 133-9. The Dragons posted 11 shutouts one year ago.
Nichol will be an obvious target for opposing defenses, so the question is who will compliment her in 2017?
Sophomores Emilee Krehbeil (1 goal, 3 assists in 19 games in 2016) and Jayde Miyamoto (1 assist in 17 games in 2016) are back in the midfield. They are joined by freshmen Kaitlyn Sabala, Avery McCarter, Mikayla Vega, Ariel Wolff and Yadira Delgado.
All-conference player Chloe Flynn returns to anchor the back line for the Blue Dragons. Also back are sophomore defenders Kaitlyn Moore and Meaghan Grantham. Added to the mix are freshmen Hailey Burke, Taylor Godlove, Kaelee Kimmel and Natalie Graves.
Freshman Clara Burgmuller is a highly touted international goalkeeper from Munich, Germany. Burgmuller and sophomore Ashley Main (5-0 with 0.23 goals-against average and eight combined shutouts in 2016) will provide a strong 1-2 punch in net for Hutchinson.
The Blue Dragons play their first five matches at home. After this weekend's games with Northeast and Trinidad State – those two teams play each other at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Salthawk Sports Complex – the Dragons play Rose State on Thursday, Hesston College on Sept. 6 and open Jayhawk West play with Barton on September 9.
Northeast is the only team to open its season before this weekend. The Hawks defeated Barton 2-0 on Tuesday in Norfolk, Nebraska.