Clarksville, Ark.-The 2001 Lady Eagles have relied on a strong defense and a renewed enthusiasm to seek after its first winning season in the program's five-year history.
The team also has a new coach, Jeremey Bernard, and can build off of several positive things in their early season. "I feel very good about our team right now," said Bernard whose team has a 1-3-0 record. "I think our defenders will continue to play well and any time you have a solid defense you are able to be competitive." Bernard, who is in his first year as head coach, also points out that the girls have had a positive attitude going into the season. "The girls’ attitudes and work ethics have been great. They have gone through some rough times in the last year or so, but they have maintained a positive attitude and are ready for the season to begin. They believe they can win some games and so do I." One of the keys for Ozarks’ season will depend on how fast the young team develops. Currently on the roster, there are eight freshmen and only one senior. "We have a very young team and we don’t have a lot of experience. So it’s crucial that our upperclassmen show exemplary leadership and our younger players will need to adjust to the college game quickly. But with that youth comes energy and enthusiasm." Bernard believes the strength of the squad is on the defensive side of the field, so much that he feels the Lady Eagles will be competitive in the conference. "Our defense is strong enough that we will be competitive in the conference and if we can continue to improve offensively , we will make some noise late in the year." Leading the defensive effort will be American Southwest All-Conference performer Anne Obermueller, along with Leticia Trevino, Natalie Mourton and Kara Carlson. Obermueller and Carlson were both starters last season and Bernard expects all four players to continue to play key roles in the Lady Eagles’ attack. The Lady Eagles also have two other returning starters that have been heavily relied upon. Jennifer Jungman, the team’s lone senior, and Leslie Foster are playing the midfielder positions. Jungman earned the team’s most valuable midfielder award last season and Foster has provided experience from her position. Shannon Peterson, Sandy Short, Jennifer Guernica and Marissa Andrade have seen action as midfielders and defenders. Returning starter Jessica Bush will be the goalkeeper with freshman Danielle Burns in the backup role. Offensively, freshman Lindy Swatzell has made an immediate impact. Swatzell has been impressive in the first four games, scoring a team high three goals. Filling out the other forward spots will be freshmen Lindsey Turnbow and Krissia Calderon.. The Lady Eagles will face Austin College in their next match on September 28 in Sherman, Texas.