BACK LINE READY TO CARRY ON BLUE DRAGON TRADITION

Jenna Boese and the Blue Dragon Women's Soccer heads to Johnson County to meet the Cavaliers in the opening round of the Region VI Tournament at 1 p.m. Thursday. (Casey Bailey/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Jenna Boese and the Blue Dragon Women's Soccer opens the 2019 season on Thursday against Trinidad State at 6 p.m. on Don Michael Field.

 

Information Box

BLUE DRAGON WOMEN'S SOCCER

Hutchinson (0-0) vs. Trinidad State (0-0)

When: Thursday, August 22, 2018
Where: Don Michael Field, Hutchinson, KS
Game time: 6:00 p.m.
Video: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 5:55 p.m.
Twitter: @bluedragonsport

Note the site change to Don Michael Field. 
Park at Graber Elementary or along 17th avenue
No fans can sit on the bench side of the complex.

By Steve Carpenter
Hutchinson CC Sports Information Director

Over the first 14 years of the Hutchinson Community College women's soccer program, the Blue Dragons have usually a score or a nucleus or scorers who grabbed all the attention.

Over those same 14 years, Blue Dragon women's soccer has also built an another incredible legacy – defense.

Sophomore all-conference defender Jenna Boese is well aware of that legacy, even though the masses gravitate to all the offensive numbers.

Boese and an experienced group of back-liners are ready to carry on that defensive tradition on Thursday when the Blue Dragons open the 2019 regular season against Trinidad State at 6 p.m. at Don Michael Field.

Hutchinson's opening weekend triangular – Trinidad State and Indian Hills play each other at 2 p.m. on Friday and the Dragons meet Indian Hills at 2 p.m. on Saturday – will all be played at Don Michael Field (17th and Severance) because the new natural grass surface at the Salthawk Sports Complex isn't quite ready for three games in three days and the potential for rain during that time.

Sammy Lane, the only coach in program history, brings a 206-49-5 record into the new season.

Last year the Blue Dragons went 13-3-1 in a second-place Jayhawk West finish. The Blue Dragons surrendered just 17 goals in 17 games played and limited opponents to an average of four shots on goal per game.

When one went in last year, Boese took it personally.

"We take it to heart," Boese said. "The whole defensive line takes it to heart. We know this program doesn't give up a lot of goals."

Boese, a sophomore from Wichita, is joined by Bailey Flowers, Angela Rader and Syeria Matthias as returning players on the back line for the Blue Dragons. That group is in charge of protecting new Blue Dragon goalkeeper Chiara Soergel.

"We have pace back there," Lane said. "If you don't give up goals, who won't lose. We should be effective defensively."

Those four defenders are part of the largest returning sophomore class Lane has ever had at Hutchinson. The Dragons have eight players returning. Also back are forwards Addi White and Macy Smith and midfielders Naomi Waithira and Cameron Rodriguez.

"Our sophomores have been great," Lane said. "It's amazing having that many sophomores. Practices has been easier and more kids know what is going on. We won't have as many players this year, but we will have more quality and not quantity.

"It's nice to have sophomores who take ownership in the program."

Lane is excited about the offensive prospects for his 2019 team.

White is the leading returning goal scorer. The Buhler High School product had six goals and two assists. Now healthy after a nagging injury-plagued freshman year, Waithira had four goals, but dished out 15 assists in 2018.

Smith tallied four goals last season, including a hat trick. Rodriguez had a goal and five assists.

Lane brought a lot of speed onto the front line and midfield with his incoming players.

The Blue Dragons will have a challenging non-conference season. Next week, the Dragons play three games in three days. On Friday, August 30, Hutch plays host to Redlands Community College. Then on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1, the Dragons will play a pair of games against Navarro and Rose State at the Stryker Soccer Complex in Wichita.