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Amateur notes: 56ers start fourth WPSL season Friday

05/31/2013, 12:00am CDT
Madison 56ers WPSL

The Madison 56ers, the state's lone entry in the Women's Premier Soccer League this year, kick off their 2013 season this weekend against the two teams that accounted for all of their wins a year ago.

The 56ers play host to Indiana United at 3 p.m. Friday at Breese Stevens Field to start their Midwest Division schedule, then face the Quad City Eagles at 3 p.m. Sunday in Riverdale, Iowa.

Madison finished 3-2-0 in the Midwest North Conference last season, beating Indiana United 4-1 in its season opener and sweeping Quad City 3-0 and 4-1. The 56ers' lone losses came in their final two matches against the FC Milwaukee Nationals, who aren't fielding a team in the WPSL this summer.

John Reddan, who has led Madison to a 7-13-3 record over its first three years in the league, has a veteran roster – 13 of the 17 players listed on the roster have played for the 56ers in past seasons.

Iowa midfielder Alex Melin (Verona) led the team with three goals in 2012, while UW-Milwaukee forward Morgan LaPlant (Madison La Follette) scored twice in the win over Indiana United. Northern Illinois striker Sara Spaulding (Milton) returns after contributing a goal and two assists last year.

And UW midfielder Lindsey Holmes (Verona) is back with the 56ers, with whom she played in 2011. Last summer, she was part of the FC Milwaukee side that went 5-0-0 in league play.

One new face will be in goal, where UW-Green Bay's Katy Pilarzyk (Madison Memorial) appears set to start – at least for the beginning of the season. The other goalkeeper on the roster is incoming University of Wisconsin freshman Meghan Ledin, who is still finishing her senior season at Middleton High School.


Goalkeepers: Meghan Ledin (Middleton); Katy Pilarzyk, UW-Green Bay (Madison Memorial).
Defenders: Ashley Burkhardt, UW-Eau Claire (Madison Memorial), Jenna Harrington, UW-Green Bay (Madison La Follette); Mara Wyttenbach (UW); Sarah Schmelzer; Geena Swentik, Liberty (Kettle Moraine); Shaina Riciputi, Colorado College.
Midfielders: Lindsey Holmes, UW (Verona), Hannah Kernen, UW-Green Bay (Sugar River); Molly Laufenberg, UW (Waunakee); Taylor Madigan, Marquette (Waunakee); Alex Melin, Iowa (Verona); Christina Papageorge; Sara Stern, UW-Milwaukee (McFarland); Marta Wangard, UW (Brookfield East).
Forwards: Morgan LaPlant, UW-Milwaukee (Madison La Follette); Sara Spaulding, Northern Illinois (Milton).

  • Marquette defender Axel Sjoberg was named to the USL Premier Development League Team of the Week after helping the Thunder Bay Chill post a pair of 2-1 road victories over WSA Winnipeg last weekend. Sjoberg's 27th-minute goal Sunday was assisted by Golden Eagles teammate Paul Dillon, who also scored in Saturday's victory. UW-Milwaukee defender Dustin Ashley (Racine Horlick) was an honorable mention selection after scoring the lone goal and helping the Chicago Inferno post a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over visiting K-W United FC on Saturday.
  • UW goalkeeper Genevieve Richard was honorable mention on the USL W-League Team of Week after her performances allowed the Laval Comets to pick up four points from two road matches. She made four saves to blank the London Gryphons on Saturday, then stopped 10 shots in a 1-1 draw against the Toronto Lynx a day later. Marquette defender Vanessa Legault-Cordisco scored the Comets' goal against Toronto.

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