By Tyler Stotsky
The Lake Erie College women's soccer team ended the 2014 season at a mark that the program has not seen since the 2006 season. The Storm finished the season with an overall record of 7-9-2, a three game difference from 2013. Over the last three seasons, Lake Erie won a total of eight games.
The Storm had a few major differences with the team coming into 2014. Valerie Prause was promoted from graduate assistant, a role that she held for the past two years, to head coach of the Storm.
The Storm graduated five seniors and six other players left the team following the 2013 season. Coach Prause brought in a class of eight new freshmen in order to fill the void.
"Overall we were a very young team but the experience we were all able to gain this year will only translate over into the offseason and next year. Our starting lineup consistently had at least 8 underclassmen in it with more earning time off the bench," said Coach Prause on her young lineup.
Lake Erie opened the nonconference slate with a 3-2 record, including a 3-1 victory on the road at Seton Hill. The Storm had never beaten the Griffins in the series, carrying a 0-4-1 record into the season.
During the nonconference schedule, the Storm did something that they have not done since 2009. They won three straight games for the first time in five years.
Throughout the season, the Storm lost back-to-back games three times. Since 2009, the Storm has had a losing streak of at least five games in each year.
In the GLIAC, the Storm had a record of 3-7-2 this season. Lake Erie picked up wins over Malone, Northwood and Tiffin.
Last year, the Storm scored 17 goals in 17 games. In 2014, Lake Erie found the back of the net 21 times across the schedule of 18 matches. Sophomore Elizabeth Awuah led the Storm with six goals last year and nine goals this season.
Senior Grace Ferut was named an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention Defender after her performance in 2014. She scored two goals and had two assists while starting all 18 games in the backline.
In the goal, senior Sarah Stroope made 80 saves while allowing 24 goals in 13 games. Stroope missed some time during the season due to an injury.
Coach Prause spoke of her graduating seniors, "We had great senior leadership this year from Grace Ferut, Sarah Stroope, and Kaitlyn Holland. They took our underclassmen under their wings and because of their leadership, we took a big step forward as a program this year."
Freshman Ashley Pryce was second on the team with three goals in her first collegiate season.
With a main core group of players that will return in 2015, Coach Prause has a good idea for expectations next season.
"As we continue to get better each day as individuals and as a team, we will only progress forward as a program and this season was a good starting point for us."