Carroll College Womens Soccer

Women's Soccer


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By Troy Shockley, Helena IR

Just five minutes into overtime Saturday, Carroll College women's soccer coach Dave Thorvilson saw an opportunity and told his senior defender to go for it. Kelli Lessmeier delivered, booting in a free kick from 45 yards out, giving the Saints a 1-0 win over Northwest Nazarene University.

"There was a little bit of wind, and the goalkeeper was hanging high on her line, so I told her to take it," Thorvilson said. "It was kind of weird. We scored and the defense wasn't sure if the game was over. Once everybody realized that was it, it was a nice moment of excitement for us."

Jamie Carter finished with eight saves to earn the win for the Saints (2-0-1), who return home for a pair of games, on Saturday and Sunday at Nelson Stadium.

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By Alex Clark (

The Carroll College Women's soccer team has been working hard all winter long in hopes to not only show off their fancy footwork this fall but, with 21 returners and 6 freshmen they're a force to be reckoned with.

"For us its really building off where we finished last spring," Women's Head Coach Dave Thorvilson said. "We had a tremendous off season both in the weight room and our work ethic, we had a great spring last year and we hope that transitions into this fall and that the freshmen understand what we are trying to do."

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By TROY SHOCKLEY Independent Record

Tuesday’s season opener for the Carroll College women’s soccer team will give the Saints plenty to learn from.

After playing back-to-back exhibition games to end last week, the Saints started their schedule in earnest against the University of Lethbridge at sunny Nelson Stadium. And the season didn’t start well, with the visiting Pronghorns scoring just nine minutes into the game. The goal clearly woke up the Saints, but after a series of near-misses, the squad had to settle for a 1-1 tie.

“I think it was a couple of things,” coach Dave Thorvilson said. “I think our legs were heavy and tired. And I think we had started so well in the preseason, we just expected that to carry over in to this game and we probably overlooked the opponent to start it off. We just thought that if we played the way we played this weekend, we’d be unstoppable. We weren’t mentally or physically ready to start our first match, and it took us a little while to get back into it.”

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By the Helena IR

Playing in its second exhibition game in as many days, the Carroll College women’s soccer team turned in a 0-0 tie at the University of Montana on Saturday. The Saints would have preferred a win, but still left Missoula happy with their effort.

“They’re a very athletic, very strong, good team,” Carroll coach Dave Thorvilson said of Montana. “We definitely played a little more of a defensive style of soccer today. The Griz are so strong and athletic and deep off their bench, we had to play a little differently than we did Friday.”

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Carroll College Women’s Soccer has announced the signings of four student athletes to the 2014 recruiting class for this coming fall. Fighting Saints head coach Dave Thorvilson announced Monday that Emily Spindler of Helena, MT, Cassidy Walter of Otis Orchards, WA, Christina Plank of Bountiful, UT and Madison Apsey of Boise, ID have all signed Frontier Conference/NAIA Letter of Intent paperwork to play soccer at Carroll College.

Emily Spindler, a local Helena standout, is a three-year varsity letter winner for the State Champion Runner-up Helena High Bengals.  During Spindler’s high school career she has been part of two Western Conference Championship teams, a key member of the best defense in the state the last two years and a second-place finish during her senior year.  Spindler was selected as All-Conference this past fall. A three-year Academic All-State selection while maintaining a 3.94 GPA, Spindler is also a member of the National Honor Society, Health Occupation Students of America and currently employed as a CAN at Aspen Gardens. Spindler plans to study Nursing while at Carroll College.  Emily, the daughter of Ray Spindler and Janice Glass has been playing soccer with the local club team, Helena Arsenal from age 9 onward. 

“We have been keeping our eye on Emily for the last three years during high school and club soccer games.  She is a very strong defender and we are excited to keep this local product in town,” Thorvilson said.

Cassidy Walter was a two-year varsity letter winner at University High School in Spokane Valley, WA.  As a starting defender she helped her team advance to the regional round the past two years and was named a 1st team All GSL Defender during her junior season.  Walter played her club ball for Soccer Edge Academy FC in Spokane.  Her team was the PSPL league champions two years in a row, as well as a US Club Regional semifinalist during those two seasons. Cassidy suffered a knee injury last spring that sidelined her from both high school and club soccer  during her senior year.  Academically, Walter is a four-year member of National Honor Society and belongs to her school’s upperclassmen mentoring program for incoming freshman.  Walter has maintained a 3.96 GPA and plans to study Health Science at Carroll College.  Cassidy is the daughter of Jeff and Cathy Walter and her sister Caitlin “CayCay” is currently a sophomore on the Fighting Saints soccer team.

“Cassidy is an athletic, hard-working soccer player and we expect a full recovery from her knee injury as she enters her freshman year this fall,” said Thorvilson.

Christina Plank becomes Carroll’s first women’s soccer player from the state of Utah.  Plank was a four-year varsity starter for Bountiful High School.  Her Bountiful team has had great success winning the Region 6 Championship the past three years and was runner-up in 2012.  During her decorated high school career, Plank was voted rookie of the year during her freshman season, named to the All-Region Team the past two seasons, the 2013 Region 6 Most Valuable mid-fielder, 1st-Team All-State in 2013 and was captain of the team in both her junior and senior seasons.

Plank’s high school accolades continued into other sports including varsity cross country in 2010-2011, track and field during all four years including a second-place regional finish in Javelin in 2011. Plank is the captain of her high school basketball team that has won the Regional Championship the past two seasons.  Plank also plays her club ball for Forza Futbol Club and has been the State Runner-up the last two years.  She has been a three-year National Honor Society member, and President of the German club while maintaining a 3.86 GPA.  Christina is the daughter of Louis Plank and Rhonda Smith; she plans to study Biology/Pre-Medicine at Carroll College.

“We first saw Christina play in a showcase tournament in Las Vegas last spring and she attended our summer camp last year.  She is a very strong player and has connections to Carroll as her uncle is an alum. We feel very fortunate to get a player of Christina’s caliber, Thorvilson said.

Madison Apsey adds to the long line of great players from the Boise, ID area to join the Fighting Saints.  Apsey was a four-year varsity soccer player for Timberline High School.  Timberline has won third place at the state tournament in each of the past three years.  Apsey helped Timberline to a 1st-place District Title during his junior year and a 2nd-place District showing during her senior season. Apsey was named team captain last year and received the team’s Offensive Player of the Year Award.  Apsey started her club soccer career with Les Bois before the club merged to become FC Nova three years ago.  FC Nova joined the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) last year competing against the best players in the country.  Apsey has been recognized for her strong academics receiving the Southern Idaho Conference Academic Award thanks to having a 3.5 GPA or higher all four years in addition to garnering the Outstanding Individual Scholastic Award for a GPA above 3.75 all four years.  Apsey currently maintains a 3.86 GPA and plans to study Nursing while at Carroll College.  Madison is the daughter of Curtis and Teresa Apsey.

“I have watched Madison’s club team play quite a bit over the last few years and she has impressed the coaching staff from day one.  After recovering from a knee injury her junior year her dedication and commitment to soccer has increased to such a high level that we can’t wait to get her on the field this fall,” said Thorvilson.

With twenty-two returning players and the addition of this year’s recruiting class the Saints have set their sights high for the 2014 season.  Carroll women’s soccer will open up with an exhibition at home August 15th and start the regular season on the road in Idaho August 22nd.  The Saints expect to sign one more player to the 2014 class.

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) has recognized Carroll College Women’s Soccer program with a fourth consecutive team ethics award for sportsmanship.

The Fighting Saints earned a silver designation for the 2013 season as Carroll received no red cards and accumulated less than five yellow cards during this past season.

This was the third year in a row that Carroll received the silver team award; in 2010 they received a bronze designation (10 cards or less).

“Our program strives to have student-athletes demonstrate the values of Carroll College and represent our school in a dignified manner both on and off the field, this recognition is a credit to our players’ character and sportsmanship this past season,” head coach Dave Thorvilson said.

The honor recognizes teams that exhibit fair play, sporting behavior and adherence to the laws of the game as reflected by the number of yellow caution cards or red ejection cards they are shown by referees throughout the season.

254 college teams received either the gold, silver or bronze designation this season.  25 teams received were recognized with the gold award for having no cards accumulated.

An impressive 20 members of the Carroll College women’s soccer team were chosen for the Frontier Conference’s All-Academic team, announced Thursday by commissioner Kent Paulson.

Seven seniors were included on the team: McKinley Dennis (nursing), Kailey Edgar (health science/pre-physical therapy), Haley Jensen (health science), Macie Netz (health science/pre-physical therapy), Christa Saur (health science), Paige Williams (chemistry) and Carissa Yedica (civil engineering).

Kelli Lessmeier (nursing) and Tessa Neameyer (nursing) represented the junior class.

Cassie Baldwin (health science), Kayla Bayer (civil engineering), Kristyn Bohlander (finance), Katey Friedt (biology), Kristen Kirking (health science), Madi O’Dell (biology/pre-medicine), Lexi Pyette (biology/pre-medicine), Danielle Turley (biology/pre-dentistry), Meghan Upham (nursing), Caitlyn Walter (civil engineering) and Ali Zimmerman (health science) were among the 11 sophomores to round out Carroll’s academic achievers.

“We are always excited to have such strong student-athletes on the women’s soccer team; Carroll does an amazing job attracting some of the best students in the country, and we’re excited that they can succeed both on the soccer field and in the classroom as well.

“This year’s 20 students that were honored by the conference shows this strength,” coach Dave Thorvilson said.

The 20 members of the all-academic team from Carroll come from an eligible 22 on the Fighting Saints’ roster.

To be eligible for the team, student-athletes must be at least a sophomore in academic standing, maintain a 3.0 GPA and be enrolled at school the previous two semesters.

Athletic Questionnaire

Interested in playing soccer for Carroll? Fill out this questionnaire, send it in, and let Coach Thorvilson know that you're serious about playing for the Saints!