MEQUON, Wis. It is always difficult to say goodbye to seniors who have been important performers and ambassadors for a successful program. Coach Ryan Middendorf has nothing but kind words for the seven Falcons who played their final match this week.
"I can't say enough about how much this senior class has meant to our program. They have obviously been tremendous contributors to our team on the soccer field, but it's really all the intangible contributions off the soccer field that they have made to our program that will be their greatest imprint. They have helped to establish a culture of winning, confidence, and enthusiasm. It's sad to see their playing careers at CUW conclude, but they will certainly always be important members of our CUW soccer family," emphasized Middendorf.
Three-time First Team All-NAC honoree Lauren Straehler (Pewaukee, Wis.) leaves as one of the program's all-time statistical leaders. Straehler scored 17 goals and added four assists this season to improve her four season tally to 58 goals and 16 assists.
Senior teammate Alyssa Ciesielczyk (Waukesha, Wis.) notched eight goals and added a pair of 2012 assists.
Four year performers Afton Hoch (Macomb, Mich.) , Rebecca Brauer (Williamsville, Ill.) , and Mackenzie Laskowski (Decatur, Ill.) all provided senior leadership and support off the bench for the Falcons.
A peek at next season reveals a ton of offensive firepower returning for Middendorf's squad. NAC Freshman Player of the Year Brittany Klumpp (Rubicon, Wis.) led CUW with 19 goals and her speedy first-year teammate Carley Pfannerstill (Grafton, Wis.) added 10 goals and nine assists.
A third offensive-minded freshman, Faith Palmreuter (Frankenmuth, Mich.), managed to find the back of the net six times and dished out five assists while sophomore Emily Ciesielczyk (Waukesha, Wis.) led the NAC in assists with 17. Another freshman standout was Kate Pawelkiewicz, the CUW defensive center who started all 20 matches. She was one of five freshmen in the starting line-up throughout the 2012 season.
First Team all-NAC defender Ashley Apazeller (Jr./ West Bend, Wis.) will be one of seven total returning starters for the team that went 15-4-1 this season.
"The future is bright for our program. I feel that we've established and proven to ourselves that we can go toe-to-toe with anyone on a soccer field. We took tremendous strides forward this season as a program. Our young players now have a successful season under their belt and they understand the standard for our program. They are a group that are athletic, skilled, and enthusiastic. I am excited to see what new heights they will lead our program to," smiled Middendorf.