Women’s soccer team recruits 19 freshmen


Kelly Davis, Megan Anderson and Olivia Collado celebrate freshman Lauren Heller’s game-winning goal against Regis College.

The women’s soccer team is one of the youngest teams on campus, thanks to an added 19 freshmen recruited by head coach Nick Cowell. The team opened its season with wins against New Mexico Highlands, Adams State, Metropolitan State and Regis University.

Freshmen Jessica Traves and Taylor Wiseman scored the two goals to seal a victory against the New Mexico Highlands Cowgirls. The Hilltoppers outshot the Cowgirls throughout the game. Though the Hilltopper defense was tested, goalkeeper Danielle Licarione made six saves to secure her first career shutout. This win marked the seventh straight season-opening win for the Toppers.

Adams State opened their game by scoring a goal within the first five minutes; the Hilltoppers countered with two goals to come out with a win. Sophomore Megan Anderson scored the Hilltoppers’ first goal to tie, and freshman Lauren Heller put the team ahead with her first collegiate goal. Heller went on to score two more decisive goals in this weekend’s games. So far, a freshman Hilltopper has scored a goal in every game this season.

Traves medical red-shirted last year, giving her freshman eligibility status this year. She scored her first collegiate goal against New Mexico Highlands.

“I was so eager to play all of last year. Now that I am able to play, I definitely do not take this sport, my passion, for granted,” Traves said.

Traves’ eligibility status brings the freshman count to 20. The Hilltoppers welcomed nineteen new players to the team this year —enough to field an entire team plus substitutions— setting the team’s roster at 35.

Team captain and lone senior Olivia Collado said the huge pool of freshmen brings a lot to the team.

“Having a lot of new girls on the team can mean that more people drop, but it also means that more people bring more talent to the team in various ways such as experience, speed, and technical ability,” Collado said.

Cowell cites past success as inspiration. “We don’t have any concerns. We expect to win conference and make the NCAA tournament, as we have done five out of the last six years,” Cowell said.