Rams posted third highest win-loss improvement of any NAIA women - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Rams posted third highest win-loss improvement of any NAIA women’s soccer team in the country in 2012

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BLUEFIELD, Va. -

Of the 198 schools that sponsor NAIA women's soccer, the 2012 Rams were the third most improved team according to the final NAIA statistics. Bluefield College posted a 9-10-1 record this season after going 2-16-1, good for a win-loss improvement of +6.5.

Bluefield College was just edged out by fellow Mid-South Conference member Cumberland (Tenn.) who achieved a +7 improvement while Viterbo (Wis.) made the nation's best turnaround with a win-loss improvement of +12.5 as they posted a 15-3-1 after a 2-15-1 record last season.

Northwest Christian (Ore.) who improved on last season's 1-15-0 mark with a 7-8-2 record in 2012, Northwood (Texas) who finished the year with an 11-5-2 mark after a 6-13-1 record a year ago and South Carolina Beaufort who took a 1-15-0 mark in 2011 and finished 2012 with a 9-10-0 record also had a win-loss improvement of +6.5 for the top-six most improved teams in the NAIA.

"What a great testament to the hard work these young women put in this past season, which helped attain this achievement," said Chase Neidig who led the Rams in 2012.

The Rams nine victories were the most for the program. In addition, Bluefield recorded its first multiple wins in conference play ever. Of BC's nine victories, five came via shutout, the most clean sheets in team history. The Red, White & Blue also recorded a 22 goal improvement on the year before (18 to 40) and allowed

"It is an honor and privilege to have been part of such a remarkable and historic change for BC women's soccer," said co-captain Callan Camin. "It's made the whole team more driven than ever."

The Beachwood, Ohio, native set the single-season and career record for assists (10) in her first season with the Rams.

"As a freshman coming in I couldn't have asked to be anywhere else," said Enajah Winbush.

The freshman forward from Woodbrige, Va., earned Mid-South Conference Honorable Mention accolades after scoring seven goals including three game winners broke the program's record for goals (7) and points (16) by a true freshman.

"I am thrilled for each of the players who were a part of the success that went on this year, and am blessed to have a part in helping make history at Bluefield College in 2012," said Neidig.

Last season out of the 200 women's soccer programs in the NAIA Viterbo finished 187th with a .138 winning percentage while Bluefield finished 189th with a winning percentage of .132 two places behind the La Crosse, Wis., squad before both programs made a drastic improvement. Viterbo took their success this season as they advanced to the NAIA National Tournament after winning the Midwest Collegiate Conference regular season and tournament titles for the first time in program history after a 2-15-1 record a year ago.

Bluefield who'd only won a single conference game in their history was picked to finish last in the 10 team Mid-South Conference circuit. The Rams won a program record four conference games and finished sixth, earning a berth in the MSC quarterfinals and hosted Union (Tenn.) in the NCCAA Mid-East Regional Tournament in their first NCCAA postseason game in Rams history.

"We had a great group this year and really turned this around for the better," said sophomore Braley Freire. "It feels good to win and be part of a successful program who has set many record."

Freire a sophomore midfielder from New Bedford, Mass., scored four goals and provided three assists a year ago was one of nine players who returned to the Rams after their 2-16-1 mark and made 17 starts and added a pair of goals and two assists in their historic 2012 campaign.

"For the coaching staff it wasn't our only goal to change the win-loss column, but rather it was our desire to see the culture of the program turn in a direction that would allow for success on the pitch," Neidig concluded.

Winbush echoed Neidig, "I think it was a very successful season, and there will be nothing but better coming for us."