Year number 31 of women's soccer on the Truman State University campus gets underway this weekend, as the Bulldogs travel to Minnesota for a pair of non-conference matches at No. 6 Minnesota State-Mankato (Friday, 4 p.m.) and Winona State (Sunday, noon).
The Bulldogs are entering the inaugural season of Great Lakes Valley Conference action after having recorded a 12-6-1 mark in 2012 during the team's final year of MIAA play.
Truman returns a solid core from last season's squad, bringing back seven starters and 17 letterwinners for the 2013 campaign.
Senior forward Trisha Shoemaker, who led the Bulldogs with nine goals last season, paces the front line, while all-MIAA first-team defender Kelsey Ridgway and honorable mention all-conference keeper Emily Bozdeck will look to keep opponents off the scoreboard.
As per usual for head coach Mike Cannon, the longest-tenured women's soccer head coach in Bulldog history scheduled a pair of challenging contests at the outset of the season.
After hosting the top two programs from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference to open the 2012 season, the Bulldogs make the return trip in 2013 and will have their hands full with a pair of solid squads.
The sixth-ranked Mavericks made a deep run in the NCAA postseason last year, winning the NSIC in the process, while Winona State was the preseason favorite for the league this time around after winning 16 games last year.
Truman earned a split against the Minnesota squads last season, falling 2-1 to MSU-M before rebounding with a 2-0 shutout of WSU at the Bulldog Soccer Pitch.
Cannon returns for his 21st season on the sidelines, having compiled a 265-96-38 all-time record with the program.
He is the seventh winningest active coach in NCAA-II history and has led the 'Dogs to nine postseason appearances.
Courtesy Truman State University