Coach: Tyler Tomlinson (66-56-11 at C-SC, eighth season).
2017 record: 9-10-1 (4-7-1 Heart of America Athletic Conference).
Top returners: F Janelle St. Pierre, 5-9, Jr.; F Emma McKinstry, 5-2, Jr.; MF Makkel Parrott, 5-7, Sr.; D Sydnie Martin, 5-9, Sr.; D Maggie Houska, 5-4, Sr.; GK Kehley Bitzas, 5-7, Jr.
New faces: F Georgia Inwood, 5-8, Fr.; D Skylar Dahl, 5-4, Fr.; F Montererrat Caparros, 5-3, Fr.; MF Pyper Filonowish, 5-9, Fr.
Key losses: F Leah Miller, MF Jamie Gilley, MF Heather Pendegraft.
Outlook: Tomlinson is comfortable with one-goal games, especially if his defense is as stout as he expects.
"I'll sit back there and watch us grind," he said.
As the Wildcats develop some scoring punch, he better get used it. Coming off another Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament appearance, C-SC is forced to reload offensively. Miller led the Wildcats with 13 goals last season and scored 27 in her career, fourth most in program history. St. Pierre scored five goals last season, while McKinstry and Parrott had two each.
Finding a consistent threat up top is the biggest challenge.
"We have to score some goals when we have some chances," Tomlinson said. "We have to have someone take the reins. I don't care if it's the whole team, as long as somebody scores."
The Wildcats expect to be sound defensively, especially with Martin and Houska returning as the center backs. Bitzas had four shutouts last season and 11 in her career, but she hasn't made it through a season completely healthy yet. She could be a difference maker.
"We have an all-conference caliber goalie," Tomlinson said.
She's part of a unit the Wildcats will rely on heavily.
"Our spine is good defensively," Tomlinson said. "That's what we've built around and why we've been successful. We play good defense."
Tomlinson likes the energy the Wildcats have, especially with the addition of 16 freshmen.
"We have a little more depth than we've had in years past and a little more energy," he said. "There's some competition. There's people fighting a little harder. They've come in and boosted us and made it a little more fun for us in the preseason."
Coach: Tasha Flynn (7-12 at HLGU, second season).
2017 season: 7-12 (5-7 American Midwest Conference).
Top returners: F Maci Cotler, 5-9, Jr.; MF Skyler Evans, 5-10, Sr.; MF Kendal Welch, 5-4, Jr.; D Stephanie Venvertloh, 5-4, Sr.; D Maria Monteiro, 5-6, Sr.; GK Madi Allen, 5-6, Jr.
New faces: F Shelby Stine, 5-6, Fr.; D Kaelyn Denham, 5-6, Fr.
Key losses: MF Nicole Paisini.
Outlook: The Trojans qualified for the AMC Tournament last fall for the first time since 2014 and made considerable strides in Flynn's first season. With most of the roster returning and the addition of a talented goal scorer in Stine, the future seems promising.
Cotler's return is a major boon considering she scored 14 goals and had four assists last season. Welch had four goals and two assists, while Stine is coming off a record-setting career at Hannibal High School. She set the Pirates' single game, season and career records for goals, finishing with more than 100 goals.
The challenge for the Trojans will be improving defensively. They allowed 5.1 goals per game last season, and Allen was forced to make 123 saves -- nearly nine per game. It will help to get off to a better start. HLGU allowed 48 goals and 268 shots in the first half of games last fall.