While most of the country's attention was drawn to the headlines of 5-star recruits joining powerhouse football schools, coach John Ross had something different to smile about. The NIU women's soccer coach announced the addition of 11 players for the 2014 Huskies season.
The main reason for this massive overhaul is that the Huskies program will graduate a good chunk of its roster this year with nine seniors of the 2013 team having played their last season in the red and black. In his first two seasons as head coach, Ross led these seniors to back-to-back MAC Tournament berths in 2012 and 2013.
After going 8-9-2 in his tenure, Ross will look to improve the Huskies on all fronts this year and continue their strong form at home with NIU holding the best home record in the Mid-American Conference last season with a mark of 6-1-1. In his first two seasons as head coach, Ross also led these seniors to back-to-back MAC Tournament berths in 2012 and 2013.
But it will prove a new challenge to the relatively fresh coach as he graduates former All-MAC goalkeeper Amy Carr among other main contributors to the Huskies squad. But he can also rely on the 18 team members that he retains which include one keeper, five defenders, seven midfielders and five forwards.
Standout returning players include the 2013 team's leading scorer and sophomore forward Nicole Gobbo, corner kick specialist and junior forward Allie McBride and All-MAC freshman defender Alex Elias. Combined with the signees, NIU now boasts a 29-player roster in 2014.
This year's class was very Illinois-heavy, holding nine players from the Prairie State, one from Minnesota and the other from Wisconsin.
A link to the NIU website and complete bios and quotes from John Ross on each player can be found on pages 2-7 of the pdf here.
All personal info and stats is per niuhuskies.com.