Kutztown University will have 31 student-athletes representing its women’s soccer program for the 2019 season, including Gabriel Kane of Reading, PA (19606).
The 2019 season will bring a new look to the Kutztown University women’s soccer team. With the renovation of Kutztown Field, KU will have a ton of positive energy around the program, as it continues to compete to achieve its lofty, yearly goals of winning championships.
Not only will the field be different for the Golden Bears this year, but the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) has also changed up its format for women’s soccer. Since 2010, the PSAC has had a single division. With the addition of Shepherd University to the conference, the PSAC is now instituting two divisions (East and West), a first since it last had two divisions in 2009. Each team plays each other twice during the regular season.
Kutztown was recently voted second in the Eastern Division of the PSAC preseason poll, behind defending conference champs and nationally-ranked Bloomsburg. Nationally-ranked West Chester, 2017 PSAC champion East Stroudsburg, and 2018 semifinalist Millersville round out the top-five in a very competitive division featuring a majority of the top teams in the Atlantic Region.
But head coach Erik Burstein, beginning his 13th season as head coach, once again has an experienced and talented team that has played in big, postseason games earlier in their careers.
“I have tremendous faith in this group,” said Burstein. “We have some exceptional athletes who work hard, have great attitudes, buy into our culture, believe in our system and have worked hard to adapt to their new roles and responsibilities. They are an exciting group who truly want to be successful, and I believe they will be. However, we all know this new divisional format will provide some very different and unique challenges. We need to focus on one game at a time and make sure we finish in the top-four in the East. Once that is accomplished, we can start thinking about competing for championships. Stay humble and stay focused; one game at a time.”
KU finished the 2018 season at 14-4-2 overall and qualified for both the PSAC and NCAA Atlantic Region tournaments. It was the third consecutive NCAA berth and eighth in 10 years. Dating back to the 2008 season, Kutztown has earned 11 straight PSAC Tournament appearances.
Kutztown begins its 2019 campaign with back-to-back road games. It will take on the University of Charleston (WV) in the season opener on Thursday, Sept. 5, and then play at Millersville on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The home-opener in the brand-new Keystone Field complex will be Saturday night, Sept. 14, under the lights at 6 p.m., against East Stroudsburg.