SAN ANTONIO —
Entering his fifth season as head coach of the UTSA soccer program,
Steve Ballard has put together a talented team that he believes can
compete for a Southland Conference Championship in 2010.
The Roadrunners welcome back 15 letterwinners, including seven starters,
from last year’s 9-10-2 squad. UTSA finished fifth in the league
standings with a 4-3-2 mark and made its fourth consecutive trip to the
conference tournament before dropping a 3-2 double-overtime decision to
Sam Houston State.
This year’s squad is built on senior leadership, depth and experience.
Ballard will rely heavily on his five seniors — Laurel Dierking, Allison
Dillon, Jenna Pawelek, Kim Selman and Chelsea Zimmerman — to lead by
|Sophomore Dacia Webb set a UTSA record with 119 saves last fall.
Ballard is set at goal with the return of honorable mention
All-Southland performer Dacia Webb.
Webb started all 21 matches and set a UTSA single-season mark with 119
saves last fall. The Rosenberg native was a three-time Southland
Goalkeeper of the Week winner and she established a program record with
16 stops against Stephen F. Austin.
Backing up Webb will be a pair of redshirt freshmen in Ari Calderon and
UTSA looks to remain one of the top defending teams in the Southland
despite the loss of four-time all-conference performer Ezinne Okpo.
Looking to fill the void vacated by Okpo will be Pawelek and junior Jodi
Leroy. Meanwhile, Selman and sophomore Stephanie Ogilvie are eager to
get back on the field for the Roadrunners after missing last season due
With 53 career starts under her belt, Pawelek will be looked upon to
anchor a Roadrunners’ defense that registered six shutouts in 2009. She
started 20 of the 21 matches and collected two assists.
Completing UTSA’s line of defense will be Leroy, who started 17 contests
last season, Ogilvie and Selman.
Redshirt freshmen Kimber Chudej and Alex Saraceno and true frosh Jessica
Lyon are expected to see action off the bench.
Zimmerman, a three-time All-Southland performer, Dierking and juniors
Bonnie Caulfield and Katie Dugan are expected to form a solid midfield
nucleus this season.
Zimmerman started all 21 matches and responded with four goals and four
assists, while Dierking made seven starts and posted one assist last
year. Caulfield played in 18 caps and collected one goal, while Dugan
appeared in all 21 matches and netted a pair of winners.
Sophomores Clare Jakubowski, Lindsay South and Brittany Wilson also will
see action in the middle.
Jakubowski made major contributions in her 18 matches in 2009 with five
assists and one goal. South collected three helpers and a winner, while
Wilson tallied one assist.
Freshmen Laylla da Cruz, Valentina Lefort, Janee Ellington, Anka
Grotle and junior transfer Lori Gomez also will see playing time.
|Senior Allison Dillon enters her final season as the program's all-time leader in goals and assists.
Dillon, UTSA’s all-time leader in goals and assists and a three-time
all-league performer, heads up the squad’s offensive attack. The Yorba
Linda, Calif., native recorded a team-best six assists and half dozen
goals last season.
Playing alongside Dillon will be junior Taylor Padia, who posted a
breakthrough season in 2009 with a team-high seven goals and 18 points.
She also tied for third on the squad with four assists.
Pulling double duty for Ballard will be Dierking, Jakubowski and
Zimmerman, who can move into the striker slot when called upon.
Newcomers Janee Ellington and Maria Jose Rojas also will see action up
|Steve Ballard begins his fifth season on Friday night.
The 2010 ledger is highlighted by a season long six-match home stand, a
visit to the state capital of Austin and a full nine-match slate of
The Roadrunners kick off their season with three straight road matches.
UTSA heads to the Lady Panthers Classic, where it will face Alcorn State
on Aug. 20 and tournament host Prairie View A&M two days later.
The Birds then travel to Austin for an Aug. 27 matchup at Texas, before
returning to the Alamo City for their home opener against Houston
Baptist on Aug. 29. The Roadrunners visit Baylor on Sept. 3 and then
head to Rice a week later (Sept. 10).
UTSA opens a season-long six-match home stand against Texas Southern on
Sept. 17 followed by its final two non-conference matches against
Houston (Sept. 19) and TCU (Sept. 24). The Birds begin Southland play
against last season’s Regular Season Champion and I-35 rival Texas State
on Oct. 1. They then host Northwestern State (Oct. 8) and Central
Arkansas (Oct. 10) to close out the home stand.
The Roadrunners end their regular season with four of their final six
matches on the road.
Tilts at McNeese State (Oct. 15) and Lamar (Oct. 17) precede the final
two home matches, which come on Oct. 22 and 24 against Southeastern
Louisiana and Nicholls, respectively.
The Roadrunners’ regular season comes to an end on Halloween weekend
when they visit Sam Houston State (Oct. 29) and Stephen F. Austin (Oct.
The Southland Tournament is scheduled is to be played from Nov. 4-7 in