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UWFox Soccer Season Ready to‘Kick-Off’

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“Numbers…this season is all about numbers,” according to Lance Gordon, soccer coach for the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley Cyclones. “UWFox played its first soccer game against Lawrence University 40 years ago, in 1967. There are 25 incoming freshmen playing soccer this season to go along with the eight returning players from last season. But the biggest number this season has to be ‘two.’ For the first time ever, UWFox has two teams playing soccer this season - a co-ed team and a women’s team.

For the 2007 season, UWFox has the distinction of fielding the first and only women’s two-year college team in the state. The women’s team is led by the two of the four returning players from last year’s team, including Brittany Hanagan (Xavier High School) and team captain Alyssa Way (New London). Joining them this season are 11 incoming freshmen, lead by midfielder Mellanie Marhefke (Oshkosh Lourdes), goalie Michelle Ebert (Appleton East), and forward Crystal Shepard (Kaukauna). The women’s team has a limited schedule of four games this year, highlighted by games against UW-Superior and UW-Stevens Point.

Gordon said, “This is the first year that we had enough women players interested and experienced enough to start and field a women’s team.” Alyssa Way

The UWFox co-ed team plays a seven game schedule matching the Cyclones against the other members of the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference. This schedule also features an August 28 contest with the Milwaukee School of Engineering (in Milwaukee), a September 23 match-up with UW-Superior, the UW-Fond du Lac tournament on September 8, and a first-time meeting with Aurora University on October 14. In addition, UWFox is playing Lawrence University on Sept. 16, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Cyclones’ first game, which the Cyclones lost to Lawrence, 3-1.

UWFox welcomes back six players from last year’s co-ed team, lead by returning all-conference player and team co-captain, William Marcks (Appleton North). Joining him as co-captain this year is Pat Belling (Appleton East), who is making a position move from goalie to forward. Belling scored a “hat trick” (three goals in one game) and assisted on the game winning goal from last year’s final game, an overtime victory against UW-Rock County, 5-4.Cha Lor

Other returning veterans from last year’s team are midfielders Cha Lor (Appleton North), Kurt Fecteau (Appleton East), Zach Landwehr (Menasha), and Grant Nelton (Appleton East).

The 14 incoming freshman are lead by forward Grant Larie (Oshkosh Lourdes), who scored 41 goals in high school last season. Joining him are former standout high school players, including forward Kyle Seemeyer (Neenah), midfielder Nick Lyons (Neenah), and outside midfielder Matt Stori (Appleton East).

Casey Clements (Omro) is slated to hold down the midfield. He’ll be joined by other former high school players from the area, including defender Matt Ver Bust (Freedom), goalie Chris Rupp (Mount Horeb) and forward Sam Gamble (Waupaca).Lance Gordon

Gordon is entering his second year as head soccer coach at UWFox. He is a U.S. Soccer “C” licensed coach and played at the “premier level” for the Yahara Soccer Club from 1981 to 1990. Lance served with the U.S. Marine Corps and became the player-coach for the Leathernecks’ Camp LeJeune soccer team from 1993 to 1997, playing across the United States, Asia, and Europe.

In his first year as the Cyclones coach, Gordon spent a lot of his coaching time emphasizing skills and not tactics.   “We had some early success. The team took second at the Fond du Lac tournament, but during tournament, we had multiple injuries that changed the course of the season.

“If we stay healthy during the upcoming season we should see UWFox competing for the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference title and for the state championship as well. It just depends how soon the team can gel and become a unit.  Our players are all used to their club and high school teams, since they’ve have been a part of those teams for least four years. By contrast, I have a week of two-a-days to get the team ready before our first game.”

UWFox started two-a-day practices on August 21 at Menasha’s Whitman Park. Practice times are from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Anyone interested in playing for the women’s team or the co-ed team can contact Lance Gordon at lance.gordon@uwc.edu for more information.

The Cyclones are playing their home games at Whitman Park in Menasha, while the campus’ home field is being reconstructed and upgraded this fall. The Cyclones are one of several quality regional collegiate soccer programs in northeastern Wisconsin; other successful college and university soccer programs (besides Lawrence University) include UW-Oshkosh, UW-Green Bay, and Ripon College.

UW-Fox Valley Soccer Schedule 2007-08




Tuesday Aug. 28

at MSOE at Uihlen Soccer Park


Wednesday Sept. 5

at Lawrence University


Saturday Sept. 8

at UW Fond du Lac Tournament


Wednesday Sept. 12

at Milwaukee Tech


*Thursday Sept. 13

at UW Waukesha


*Monday Sept. 17

at UW Baraboo


*Thursday Sept. 20

vs. UW Fond du Lac


Sunday Sept. 23

vs. UW Superior


Monday Sept. 24

vs Concordia


*Thursday Sept. 27

vs. UW Sheboygan


*Monday October 1

at UW Washington


*Thursday October 4

at UW Marathon


*Saturday October 6

vs UW Rock


Saturday October 13

Conference Tournament at UW FDL


Sunday October 14

vs Aurora University


Mon/Thurs Oct. 15 & 18

WJCAA Regional Games TBA


Saturday October 20

WJCAA State Tournament TBA


* denotes conference games.
Home games are in bold.

Posted 08/28/2007