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Lindsey Wilson kicks off 2012 Saturday

No. 3 Lindsey Wilson Women’s Soccer Kicks Off the 2012 Season Saturday against No. 10 Spring Arbor

COLUMBIA, Ky. – It’s the NAIA Game of the Week Saturday night in Columbia as the third ranked Lindsey Wilson College women’s soccer team hosts 10th ranked Spring Arbor (Mich.) at 7 p.m. CT at Walter S. Reuling Stadium.

Starting things off with a high-caliber opponent is something Blue Raider head coach Drew Burwash can get excited about.

“I get excited this time of year every season,” said Burwash. “We have a lot of new faces coming in, but fortunately for our group we have eight of 11 starters returning from our successful 2011 group.”

That team finished 19-1-2 last season, but came up short of their goals with a 2-1 loss to Concordia (Ore.) in the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Championship.

Lindsey Wilson has opened its season against Spring Arbor six straight seasons now, posting a 3-0-2 record in openers, including a 1-1 tie in 2011.

“Spring Arbor is a quality side that we’ve opened up against the past five seasons,” said Burwash. “We will have a very good idea of where our team is from a personnel standpoint at the end of August. The schedule is a tough task to handle, but we’re ready, you can feel the girls gearing up for Saturday night.”

While the team will take a one game at a time approach to the season, it’s hard not to look ahead and see teams like No. 8 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 2 Lee and No. 5 St. Leo not far down the schedule.

lindsey wilson“The overall schedule is probable one of the toughest in the nation,” said Burwash. “Those teams are going to be very difficult. We play them because that’s the best preparation that I know of to get us going for postseason play.”

Spring Arbor had a strong 2011 campaign as well, posting a program-record 19 wins and winning its second straight Mid-Central College Conference Tournament championship. The Cougars return the reigning MCC Player of the Year Maegan Smith who tallied 25 goals in 23 starts last season.

Lindsey Wilson will be led on to the pitch by senior Mia Persson. The Sjobo, Sweden native was an NAIA All-American and MSC First-Team selection a year ago after scoring a team-high 16 goals and second-best 12 assists.

Fans not able to make it out to Saturday’s game in person can follow the action through live stats from the NAIA DakStats page. Also follow us on Twitter @LWCAthletics for live updates from the field.

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