Elizabeth Klein, a native of Burlington and graduate of Catholic Central High School, will compete for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s soccer team during the 2021 season, which begins this week.

Klein, a sophomore at UW-Whitewater, is majoring in human resource management.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s soccer team heads into its 2021 season, which begins this Friday, with great optimism thanks to strong depth on the roster and an experienced group of veteran leaders.

After nearly 22 months out of competition, the Warhawks return to the field as the defending Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champions. UW-W also earned the conference tournament title and the program’s eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in a nine-year span in 2019 and finished the year with a 14-6-3 record, including a 5-1-1 mark in league play during the regular season.

Head coach Ryan Quamme enters his 10th year at the helm of the program. He is a five-time WIAC Coach of the Year and has led the program to a 131-37-13 record, the most wins by a coach in team history.

UW-Whitewater heads to Minnesota this weekend for a pair of matches, visiting fellow 2019 NCAA Tournament participant St. Scholastica Friday before concluding the weekend Sunday with a match at St. Benedict.

The Warhawks visit Ripon on Sept. 7 before hosting MSOE on Sept. 11 at Fiskum Field. The team visits Luther (Iowa) on Sept. 15 before heading to Memphis for the annual “W” Challenge, where it will open tournament play against 2019 national quarterfinalist Washington-St. Louis.

Following a trip to Grinnell (Iowa) on Sept. 22, UW-Whitewater hosts three straight at Fiskum Field, including Augsburg (Minn.) on Sept. 25, Viterbo on Sept. 28, and the team’s WIAC opener against UW-River Falls on Oct. 2.

Six of the team’s eight remaining matches in October are against conference opponents. The regular season ends on Oct. 30 at UW-La Crosse.

The WIAC Tournament is scheduled to be played Nov. 2, Nov. 4, and Nov. 6. The NCAA Tournament begins with regionals on Nov. 12-13, continues with sectionals on Nov. 19-20, and concludes with the national semifinals and final on Dec. 3-4 in Greensboro, N.C.

Seniors Anna Boyd (De Pere, Wis./De Pere), Anna Brodjian (Barrington, Ill./Barrington), and Katy Kusswurm (South Elgin, Ill./St. Charles North) each return for their final season of competition.

Boyd is a three-year first-team All-WIAC selection and a three-time All-North Region pick by the United Soccer Coaches. She earned the WIAC Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete award and first-team Academic All-America accolades from the College Sports Information Directors of America during the 2020-21 year and enters the 2021 campaign with 29 goals and 16 assists for 74 career points.

Brodjian was named WIAC Offensive Player of the Year and first-team all-conference in 2019 when she recorded 12 goals and two assists for 26 points. The midfielder was also selected first-team All-North Region.

Kusswurm, a defender, is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American. She garnered third-team All-North Region and first-team All-WIAC honors in 2019 when she appeared in 23 matches and posted five assists.

Other veteran returners with multiple years of playing experience include forwards Savannah Curtis (Lodi, Wis./Lodi) and Carli Nehls (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North) and defenders Carley Albrecht (Milton, Wis./Milton) and Ally Bosetti (Beloit, Wis./Beloit Turner).

Curtis, a first-team all-conference honoree, registered nine goals and four assists for 22 points in 2019 and tallied four game-winning goals, which tied for second in the conference. Nehls collected two goals and three assists for seven points.

Albrecht garnered first-team All-WIAC accolades after starting all 23 matches in 2019. Bosetti also appeared in all 23 matches, including one as a starter, and recorded one assist.

Second-year players include midfielders Elizabeth Klein (Burlington, Wis./Catholic Central), Jessica Smeltzer (Schaumburg, Ill./James B. Conant), Kari Webber (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling), forward Olivia May (Elkhorn, Wis./Elkhorn Area), defenders Megan Kurtz (Wilmette, Ill./Loyola Academy) and Kayla Llewellyn (Island Lake, Ill./Wauconda), and goalkeeper Drew Antcliff (Kewadin, Mich./Elk Rapids).

Klein and May each appeared in all 23 matches in 2019. May finished with one goal and five assists, while Klein posted one goal, a game-winner. Kurtz and Smeltzer played in 22 contests apiece that fall.

Llewellyn appeared in six matches, including five as a starter, and Webber played in seven in 2019.

Midfielders Sarah Clancy (Palatine, Ill./Palatine), Madisyn Frank (Lake Geneva, Wis./Elkhorn Area), Juliana Madonia (Schaumburg, Ill./James B. Conant), Emily Thill (West Chicago, Ill./St. Francis), defenders Nicole Dawson (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley), Allie Prigge (Palatine, Ill./Fremd), Liz Prigge (Palatine, Ill./Fremd), Katie Swenson (Wauwatosa, Wis./East), Margot Yelle (Geneva, Ill./Geneva Community) and goalkeepers Leah Eisenbarth (Lake Barrington, Ill./Barrington) and Emma Hager (Arlington Heights, Ill./Hersey) practiced with the team in 2020-21 but have not seen official game action as Warhawks.

Newcomers to the program include sophomore Megan Howard (Lakeland, Minn./Stillwater Area), freshmen Belle Blauert (Nowthen, Minn./Anoka), Taylor Carlson (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland), Jordyn Czarapata (Muskego, Wis./Muskego), Cora Edwards (Washington, Ill./Washington Community), Brittany Ellinghaus (Plainfield, Ill./North), Lilly Horne (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore), Nina Malak (Middleton, Wis./Middleton), Payton Navis (Cedar Grove, Wis./Cedar Grove-Belgium), Sophia Parisi (Twin Lakes, Wis./Wilmot Union) and Maya Rebic (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community).

For more than 150 years, UW-Whitewater has provided students with the education and training to begin their careers with a solid foundation behind them. The UW-Whitewater is committed to the development of the individual, the growth of personal and professional integrity, and respect for diversity and global perspectives. These are met by providing academic and co-curricular programs that emphasize the pursuit of knowledge and understanding and a commitment to service within a safe and secure environment.