Sports preview 2013

Women’s soccer

The women’s soccer team provided one of the highlights of the entire 2012–13 school year when senior Nicholette DiGiacomo completed a hat trick in dramatic fashion, recording her third goal of the game in overtime against Maryland in the second round of the NCAA tournament, giving DU its first berth in the NCAA Sweet 16.

As usual under coach Jeff Hooker, who is entering his 22nd year with the Pioneers, DU should be one of the favorites in the conference, this time in the Summit League. The Pioneers are set to return two of their top three scorers from a year ago, including DiGiacomo and leading scorer Kristen Hamilton. A two-time conference player of the year, first in the Sun Belt in 2011 and again last year in the WAC, Hamilton ranks among DU’s all-time leaders in goals (37) and assists (24) and is on track to receive three consecutive conference player of the year awards in three different leagues.

Hooker will have to fill a void at goalie following the graduation of Lara Campbell, but a solid corps of defenders led by senior Jessy Battelli and junior Sam Harder likely will take a world of pressure off the Pioneers’ new netminder.

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