GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - If there was only one word used to describe the 2010 Green Bay women's soccer season, that word would be defense.
Although Green Bay missed qualifying for the Horizon League Tournament after posting a 3-9-4 (1-5-2 Horizon League) record, it was a historic season for the Phoenix on the defensive end. Green Bay surrendered just 15 goals in 16 contests this season, tying a school record (1993) for the fewest goals allowed in a season. The team's 0.88 goals-against average was the third lowest in program history, as the Phoenix notched five shutouts on the year and allowed no more than a single goal in 14 of its 16 matches.
"Our defense was really tremendous all year long," Phoenix head coach Trevor Warren said. "We were confident that we were going to be in every game. It was a very gutsy performance and I'm very proud of what the girls did for me this season."
The captain of Green Bay's record-setting defense was junior goalkeeper Maddie Drusch (Appleton, Wis.), who now ranks first in school history in career goals-against average (1.24) after posting a league best 0.91 average in 2010.
For her impressive performance throughout the year, Drusch was named to the all-Horizon League second team, marking the first all-league selection of her career. Earlier in the season, Drusch was tabbed as the Horizon League Scholar-Athlete of the Month for the month of September, recognizing her accomplishments both on the field and in the classroom.
"Maddie is right there at the top of the conference in nearly every goalkeeping category," Warren said. "That shows that even if teams did get through our defensive, which they didn't very often, then it was still going to be tough to score on us. Our goalkeeper coach Grant Williams did a great job working with her all year as she continues to keep getting better."
Green Bay allowed just one goal in the team's first five contests, and no team scored more than once against the Phoenix in any of its first 10 games on the schedule.
In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Sept. 19, Green Bay ranked first in save percentage among 314 Division I schools, as Drusch and the Phoenix saved 93.3 percent of the shots they faced. At the season's end, the junior keeper ranked first in the Horizon League in save percentage (.856), making 83 stops in 15 games, while the Phoenix finished the year 20th in the country in team save percentage (.866).
Drusch ended her junior year with 284 career saves, a figure that ranks fourth in school history. She needs 69 saves next season to surpass former standout Laura Sandt (1994-97) to become Green Bay's all-time saves leader. Drusch is on pace to do so, as she is averaging 95 saves per season.
While Green Bay graduates five seniors this season, several key players will be back in 2011. Drusch returns next season, along with starting defenders Hekla Palmadottir (Akranes, Iceland), Lauren Somers (Bloomington, Minn.) and midfielder Corey Arno (Winneconne, Wis.).
On the offensive end, Green Bay was led in scoring by sophomore midfielder Megan Braatz (Waukesha, Wis.), who finished the 2010 season with six points. Braatz scored a pair of goals and dished out a pair of assists in Green Bay's 4-0 win over Northern Iowa on Sept. 10 en route to winning her first Horizon League Player of the Week award.
Somers also scored a team-high two goals on the year, including the game-winner on the road against second-place Loyola on Oct. 19. Palmadottir led the Phoenix in assists on the year with three.
With a number of key players returning to one of the nation's top defenses, Warren is optimistic about what the future holds for the Phoenix."The core of our defense is coming back, as well as a few of our top strikers," Warren said. "We're bringing in several new players next year to sure up every position. I think we have a lot to build on from this season."