Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 12, 2005
MURFREESBORO – For some, summer represents a time of relaxation and fun.
For Stuart Horne, head women’s soccer coach at Chowan College, summer is anything but relaxful.
Horne is preparing his squad for another successful season and summer not only means coaching, but recruiting.
The women’s soccer program lost four players to graduation in the offseason and Horne has already received two commitments to help offset the loss.
He is not done however and is still hoping to sign some others.
&uot;The most important time of the year for us to recruit is near the end of December,&uot; Horne said.
&uot;We didn’t get all the ones that we wanted, but we are happy with what we got.&uot;
And while Chowan’s transition to a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II school may leave some recruits uncertain of its immediate success, the opportunity to play for a program on the rise has peaked the interest of others.
It may not matter given the talent the program has returning from last year’s squad.
Despite being loaded with 13 freshman, Chowan exceeded everyone’s expectations last year – winning the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Regional Tournament and making it to the NCCAA Final Four.
Most of those players return including midfielders Meredith Krause and Stephanie Montague.
Both won All-South Region Honors at last years NCCAA Tournament.
Also winning all tournament honors was current senior and starting goalkeeper Emily Warthan.
She posted a goal against average of less than one in leading Chowan to their record-setting season.
Warthan will once again be expected to lead as three of Chowan’s four starting defenders have graduated.
In their absence Horne plans on moving some players around to fill in defensive gaps.
&uot;I am confident in my players abilities to adapt to new positions,&uot; said the coach.
&uot;I am hoping these changes will lead to more scoring from our backs, something we lacked last year.&uot;
The fact is the women’s soccer program at Chowan is loaded and expectations are high for this young group.
&uot;Obviously our success last year was great, but we want to be back there again this year&uot; said Horne.
&uot;Our goal this season is to be in a position to win a National Championship.&uot;
Due to NCAA rules the Lady Braves will be ineligible to compete in NCAA tournament play for a period of two years.
In the meantime Horne has his sights set on a return trip to Florida, this time coming home with a national banner.