From a coaching standpoint, Dani Potter and Maureen Stormont are the perfect pair. Stormont leads the UMD soccer team in scoring this season with 28 points on 12 goals and four assists, while Potter is close behind with 21 points on seven goals and seven assists. The talented duo has almost twice as many goals between them as the rest of the team does combined.
“We don’t care who scores, as long as we score,” Stormont says.
Potter, the team’s senior captain, was a decorated and dedicated three-sport athlete in high school, and she didn’t stop when she got to UMD. She was selected All-NSIC her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. In her junior season, she was named to the NSIC All-Academic team for the second straight year and earned All-Central Region honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Stormont, a junior, was also a three-sport athlete in high school and earned a spot on the All-NSIC second team and the NCAA’s All-Region third team her freshman year with the Bulldogs. She played in all 18 of UMD’s matches as a sophomore, starting 17 of them, and was named to the NSIC All-Academic team.
Despite their already long lists of accomplishments, Potter and Stormont are shooting for more.
“They want to achieve,” said head coach Greg Cane. “They know it comes at some kind of cost. The sacrifice is small with their lofty ambition.”
That type of drive can work to lessen the load the rest of the team must carry.
“They make a lot of everyone else’s jobs easier when they’re out there,” says junior defender Ana Zdechlik. “They’re workhorses. They work together great with their chemistry and experience and never give up.”
The pressure of being the focal point of an offense might overwhelm some players, but Cane says Potter and Stormont are naturals at handling the expectations.
“They aren’t the type of individual who sees it as pressure,” he said. “They see it as confidence and they want the responsibility.”
According to both players, the experience gained in playing with each other for three years has allowed for things to fall into place on the field.
“We push each other and have high expectations of one another, so neither of us wants to let the other down,” Potter says.
“We know what’s going on with each other during the game,” Stormont says. “If we are struggling, we decide to be better.”
With four games left in the regular season and UMD (10-3, 9-2 NSIC) in third place in the conference race, Potter, Stormont and the Bulldogs have their sights set on improving their position for the playoffs.
“Each and every battle is important,” Potter says.
BY ANDREW BUNTROCK firstname.lastname@example.org